Awesome things happen when Christ reveals himself in the Eucharist. We are blessed by that Merciful love all the time, if our eyes and ears are open to HIS call to us. Hopefully we will have an eyewitness tonight, as one has been called who had this experience in the United States with others present. Please pray that this opportunity will happen so that even more are converted to the Real Presence. May God bless our actions for HIS Glory, Mary's honor, and in defense of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
On January 26, 1902, at the parish church of Saint-André, a city on the island of La Réunion (French colony), Abbot Henry Lacombe, pastor of the church, was witness to the miracle that he would recount to thousands of people during the Eucharistic Congress of Angouleme (1904), as well as to the group of priests gathered for a spiritual retreat in the town of Perigueux. The face of Jesus appeared in the Host which was for many hours witnessed by thousands of people.
Let’s look at Abbot Lacome’s report: “It was January 26, 1902. We were celebrating perpetual adoration (the Forty hours devotion). The Most Holy Sacrament was exposed in the tabernacle. I began to celebrate the Mass. After the elevation, at the moment of the Our Father, my eyes were lifted toward the Host and I saw a bright halo around the rays of the monstrance. I continued to recite the prayers of the Mass with great agitation in my soul but which I tried to overcome. We came to the moment for Communion and again I looked toward the monstrance. This time I saw a human face, with lowered eyes and a crown of thorns on the forehead.
What moved me the most was the dolorous expression painted on the face. The eyelashes were long and thick. I tried not to let on to the presence of the turmoil agitating inside of me.
After Mass, I went to the sacristy and summoned the older children from the choir to go to the altar and closely observe the monstrance. “The children raced back and told me: ‘Father, we see the head of a man in the Host. It is the good Lord revealing Himself!’ I understood then that the vision was authentic.
A young man of 16, Adam de Villiers, who had studied in a college in France, also arrived. I said to him as well: ‘Go in the church and see if you notice something strange in the tabernacle’. The young student went to the sacristy and returned immediately, saying: ‘Father, it is the good Lord who appears in the Host. I see His divine face’. Since then, all my doubts disappeared.
Slowly the entire town went to the church to see the miracle. Journalists and people from the capital of Saint Denis also arrived. The face on the Host suddenly became animated and the crown of thorns disappeared. I used every possible precaution, and fearing the effects from the rays of light, I had all the candles extinguished and the shutters closed. The phenomenon became even more clear.
There was a young artist among the visitors who faithfully reproduced the face in the Host. Later, the vision changed again and a crucifix appeared which covered the entire Host from top to bottom. After the Eucharistic blessing and recital of the Tantum Ergo, the vision disappeared.”
Conversion and Miracle
After a youth spent in studying and then in scientific research, Nicolas Steno at age 28 converted to the Catholic Church while watching the Corpus Christi procession, thus realizing the greatness and magnificence of the Eucharist; the Real Presence of Jesus in the Host. He then decided to become a priest and missionary in his own country.
Nicholas Steno was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on January 10, 1638. Since his youth, he was greatly involved in natural science studies - to the point of being considered among the founding fathers of geology, paleontology and crystallography. His prolific scientific activity caused him to travel all over Europe.
On June 24, 1666, in Livorno, Italy, Nicholas Steno received the grace of conversion to the Catholic faith. His biographers wrote, “He observed with curiosity and perplexity the procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi and the fervor around it. The large Piazza d’Armi was bursting with colors and sounds. A loud, prolonged ringing of bells could be heard.
The young man was recalling another procession he watched three years before in Lovanio, Belgium, where many students were lined up and dozens of black-robed professors were walking. He could perceive something different here. Maybe it was a sense of joy, a new warm feeling… or maybe his eyes had changed? Long lines of men in white tunics were processing and singing. Gonfalons and banners were swinging in the gentle breeze coming from the sea. Friars and priests were processing too, dressed in their white surplices adorned with laces and fringes.
Even more priests were part of the procession, wearing their copes shining in the sun, and children holding incense burners. Finally, a big golden canopy passed by, and under it a minister of the Church, solemnly dressed, absorbed in his thoughts, carrying close to his chest the precious monstrance with the Sacred Host….
“People knelt as the Blessed Sacrament passed by and eyes were sparkling with love as they gazed upon the Host, all heads bowed down in adoration. Petals and flowers were showering from all corners. The young Nicholas Steno spent the whole day with a deep uneasiness in his heart. He remembered the Jesuit priest in Paris with whom he had discussed the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Bread.
The Jesuit priest had emphasized the value of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, ‘This is my Body’, and then St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. That day Nicholas Steno decided to convert to Catholicism. He immediately entered the seminary, and after nine years of study he was ordained a priest.
He described his conversion: ‘As soon as I attentively pondered God’s favors to me, these appeared to be so many that I couldn’t help but offer to Him the best of myself and in the best way, from the bottom of my heart… Therefore, having come to know the great dignity of priesthood… I asked and obtained that I may offer the Immaculate Host to the Eternal Father for my good and the good of others.’”