This Eucharistic miracle was verified recently, on May 5, 2001 in Trivandrum, India. In the Host there appeared the likeness of a man similar to that of Christ crowned with thorns. His Beatitude Cyril Mar Baselice, Archbishop of the diocese of Trivandrum, wrote regarding this prodigy: “[…] For us believers what we have seen is something that we have always believed […]. If our Lord is speaking to us by giving us this sign, it certainly needs a response from us”. The monstrance containing the miraculous Host is to this day kept in the church.
The Rev. Fr. Johnson Karnoor, pastor of the church where the Eucharistic miracle took place, recounts in his deposition: “On April 28, 2001, in the parish church of St. Mary of Chirattakonam, we began the Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus as we did every year. At 8:49am, I exposed the Most Holy Sacrament in the monstrance for public adoration. After a few moments I saw what appeared to be three dots in the Holy Eucharist. I then stopped praying and began to look at the monstrance, also inviting the faithful to admire the three dots. I then asked the faithful to remain in prayer and reposed the monstrance in the tabernacle.
On April 30th, I celebrated the Holy Mass and on the following day I left for Trivandrum. On Saturday morning, the 5th of May 2001, I opened the church for the usual liturgical celebrations. I vested for Mass and went to open the tabernacle to see what had happened to the Eucharist in the monstrance. I immediately noted in the Host, a figure, to the likeness of a human face. I was deeply moved and asked the faithful to kneel and begin praying. I thought I alone could see the face so I asked the altar server what he noticed in the monstrance. He answered: ‘I see the figure of a man.’ I noticed that the rest of the faithful were looking intently at the monstrance.
“We began Adoration and as the minutes went by, the image became more and more clear. I did not have the courage to say anything and I began to cry. During Adoration, we have the practice of reading a passage from Holy Scriptures. The reading of the day was the one from Chapter 20 in the Gospel of John, which narrates the story of when Jesus appeared to St. Thomas and asked him to look at the wounds.
I was only able to say a few words in my homily, and, having to leave for the nearby parish of Kokkodu to celebrate Mass, I immediately summoned a photographer to take pictures of the Holy Eucharist with the human face on it. After two hours all the photos were developed; with the passing of the time the face in every photo became more and more clear.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis nurtured a particular affection for lambs, to whom Jesus Christ is often paralleled in Sacred Scripture, most especially for His gentle nature.
The Franciscan historical chronicles tell the story that “during a trip to Rome, the saint kept with him a little lamb, inspired by his devotion to Christ, his most beloved Lamb. Upon his departure, it was entrusted to a noble matron, Lady Jacopa of the Sette Soli (Seven Suns), so that she would have custody of it in her home. And the lamb, as if spiritually educated by the saint in matters of the soul, would not leave the woman’s side when she went to church, when she stayed, or returned.
Some mornings, when the lady was late in awakening, the lamb would gently pounce and nudge her with his little horns, and woke her with his bleats, encouraging her with his gestures and expressions to hurry to church. For this, the lady had much admiration and love for that lamb, disciple of Francis and teacher of devotion. [...]
One day while walking in the outskirts of Siena, Saint Francis encountered a huge herd of sheep at pasture. As he always did, he kindly saluted them, and they, having stopped grazing, all ran towards him, raising their heads and meeting his gaze. They greeted him with such festivity that the shepherds were stupefied, seeing the lambs and the rams jumping around in such a wondrous way. [...]
Another time, at Santa Maria della Porziuncola, some people brought as a gift to this man of God, a sheep, and he accepted it with gratitude, because he loved the innocence and the simplicity that the sheep demonstrated by nature. The man of God admonished the little lamb to praise God and to absolutely not bother the brothers.
The sheep, for his part, sensed the piety of this man of God, and he put these teachings into practice with great care. When he heard the brothers singing in the choir, he would enter the church, bend his knees, and emit tender harmonious bleats in front of the altar of the Virgin Mother of the Lamb, as if with a strong desire to greet her. During the celebration of the Mass, at the moment of elevation, he would bow down, knees bent, as if it were that this devout little animal wished to reproach men of little faith for their irreverence and encourage devout men for their reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament.”