Another wonderful Eucharistic Miracle from Belgium, and then St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church and a warrior for Our Lord, some of he quotes to make a part of who we are and so needed in our church again today. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” “Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.” “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” Now lets make it a part of who we are and share with others. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary
This Eucharistic Miracle goes back to 1374. In St. Peter's Church in Middleburg, during Holy Communion the consecrated Host changed into bleeding Flesh. A portion of the Host to this day is kept in Louvain by the Augustinian Fathers. The monk, Jean de Gheest, confessor of the Archbishop who approved the Miracle, asked for the Precious Relic as a gift. The other portion is in St. Peter's Church in Middleburg.
There exists much documentation on the Eucharistic miracle. In a monograph written in 1905 by historian Joseph Wils, professor of the Catholic University of Louvain, entitled Le Sacrement du Miracle de Louvain, are cited almost all the contemporary documents and testimonies.
In Middleburg lived a noble woman known by everybody for her great faith and devotion. The woman was also very attentive to the spiritual formation of her family and household staff. During the Lent of 1374, as she did every year in her house, she began to do penance in preparation for the coming of Easter.
A few days before, a new manservant by the name of Jan was hired, who had not gone to confession for many years, in spite of the dissolute life he was living. The woman invited all the household staff to go to Mass. Jan did not dare oppose this invitation so as not to disappoint her.
He attended the whole Eucharistic celebration, and when it was time to receive Holy Communion, the man approached the altar with much superficiality. As soon as he received the Host on his tongue, the Sacrament changed into bleeding Flesh. At once Jan took the Particle from his mouth; Blood dripped from the Sacred Flesh onto the cloth covering the altar rail. The priest realized at once what was happening, and with great emotion, carefully placed the miraculous Particle in a vessel inside the tabernacle.
Jan repented and confessed his sin before everyone. From that day on, he led an exemplary life and nourished a great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament to the end of his life. All the church and civil authorities of the city were informed of the miraculous event and after diligent investigation the Archbishop authorized the devotion of this miraculous event.
St. Catherine of Siena
Jesus appeared to St. Catherine of Siena to assure her that a great flame does not diminish, even if it is used to light many candles. Such is the flame of the Holy Eucharist, because it does not weaken while inflaming the loyal faithful who come with their strong or weak faith. The stronger and weaker charity of each of the faithful is symbolic only by the flame’s dimension of the candles.
Regarding the Eucharist, Jesus confided the following words to St. Catherine of Siena: “You receive all the divine essence of the sweetest Sacrament in the whiteness in the bread. Just like the sun cannot be divided in the whiteness of the Holy Host. Let us suppose that the Sacred Host could be divided: even if it would be possible to fragment the Holy Eucharist into thousands of tiny Particles, in each one of the tiny Particles there is the presence of Christ, the whole God and the whole Man.
In the same manner that a mirror would shatter into thousands of pieces, the Sacred Host will not shatter or divide the image of God and Man that you see in the Host; the image of God and Man is in each fragmented part. Contrary to fire, the image of the Host does not diminish in faith or divinity.
Let us look at the following example: If you had one candle and the whole world would light its candle from that single candle, the light of the candle would not diminish and everybody would have a lighted candle. While it is true that those who participate in the candle-lighting may have more or less flame, everyone would receive exactly the amount of fire to light their candle.
Until that time that it can be better, this example stands. “If there were a lot of people bringing candles of all sizes – one person with two candles and one with six candles and one with a candle weighing an ounce and one with a candle weighing a pound or more - then you could see all the lit candles by color. By color, by its light, by its heat, you would judge that the person that has a one-ounce candle has less light than the one with a pound candle. This is how it is for those receiving the Holy Sacrament. Man carries his own candle so that he can receive the sacrament; however, that candle is unlit, but it is ignited when he receives the Eucharist.
As a matter of fact, as you are all alike, made and created in my image and likeness and as Christians you are anointed with Holy Baptism, you can, therefore, grow in virtue as much as you like through my divine grace. You are not changing your spiritual life that I bestowed upon you, but you can grow and increase in love of virtue, using your free will with virtue, with charitable affection, while you still have the time, because once time has elapsed, it will no longer be possible.”
O Saint Catherine of Siena, God our Father enkindled the flame of holy love in your heart as you meditated on the Passion of Jesus His Son. Moved by His grace, you devoted your life to the poor and the sick, as well as to the peace and unity of the Church. Through your intercession, may we also come to know the love of Jesus, bring His compassion to all, and work for the unity of His Church. We ask this in Jesus' Name and for His sake. God, You caused St. Catherine to shine with Divine love in the contemplation of the Lord's Passion and in the service of Your Church. By her help, grant that Your people, associated in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of His glory. Amen.