The Catholic Defender: Eucharistic Miracles Lessons from the Bible and Saints
Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth
Saint Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes ate an ounce of dry bread every eight or ten days, surviving solely on the Eucharist which she received during daily Communion. Given to ecstacies; had gifts of prophecy, remote viewing, reading of hearts, healing by making the Sign of the Cross or sprinkling with holy water, and at least once restored a dead person to life.
Saint David of Walespracticed the greatest austerities, ate hardly anything, slept for only three hours a night for years, had the gift of prophesy, and reputedly performed miracles.
practiced the greatest austerities, ate hardly anything, slept for only three hours a night for years, had the gift of prophesy, and reputedly performed miracles.
Pope Benedict XVI. Again, there is a story that comes from the sayings of the Desert Fathers, according to which the devil was compelled by God to show himself to a certain Abbot Apollo.
He looked black and ugly, with frighteningly thin limbs, but most strikingly, he had no knees. The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical.
But I do not want to go into more detail. I should like to make just one more remark. The expression used by Saint Luke to describe the kneeling of Christians (theis ta gonata) is unknown in classical Greek. We are dealing here with a specifically Christian word. With that remark, our reflections turn full circle to where they began. It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture — insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the one before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture.
The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core.
Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered, so that, in our prayer, we remain in fellowship with the apostles and martyrs, in fellowship with the whole cosmos, indeed in union with Jesus Christ Himself.” (Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal) The Theology of Kneeling From Cardinal Josef Ratzinger’s book The Spirit of the Liturgy)
Saint Conrad of Piacenza “Miracle of the Bread” The miracle for which Conrad is best known is the "Miracle of the Bread". This developed during the aforementioned famine which afflicted Sicily as a result of a severe outbreak of the bubonic plague on the island during 1348–49. During that catastrophe, anyone who came to St. Conrad for help was given a loaf of bread, still warm, which, it was said, he had received from the angels. Conrad was beatified in 1515 and canonized in Piacenza in 1645. He is invoked as a patron of hernia sufferers, due to several healings that were attributed to him.
Imelda Lambertini (1322 – May 12, 1333) is the patroness of First Communicants. Wearing first communion dress, chapel veil with attached to a chaplet of flowers on her head and rosary.
She fully immersed herself in a life of devotion, exceptional in a child of her age. From her youngest days, Blessed Imelda had an all consuming desire for unity with Jesus in Holy Communion. As young as 5 years of age she expressed a deep desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by making her First Communion.
Nobody was at all surprised when one day at the age of nine she sought her parent's permission to enter the local Dominican Convent. Imelda had a very strong desire to become a religious sister. I am sure her parents nearly died from the shock of losing their darling girl so early in life.
This Girl Wanted the Eucharist So Badly That Jesus Directly Intervened.
Imelda Lambertini began doing God’s work at the young age of five.
She was born in Bologna in the year 1322 and was an only child.
Her parents were devout Catholics and were actively involved in charity works; supporting the poor and the downtrodden in the city. When Imelda was baptized, she was given the name Magdalen.
Growing up, she was inspired by many stories about Jesus and Mary that her parents told her. They instructed her in the Faith of the Church, her mother herself was particularly devoted to the souls in Purgatory.
The little girl was so devoted that she prepared a special corner in her room where she could spend a long time thinking about the Child Jesus.
At age five, she had already started requesting to receive Holy Communion. Always nursing the emptiness she felt upon rejection since, at the time, the minimum age was around 14.
When she was nine years, she desperately wanted to become a nun. To her, all that mattered was devoting her entire life to God, and focus on reaching heaven.
She began pleading with her parents to let her join the convent. As it was not uncommon for parents to allow their children to make such a move at the time. SO they allowed her to move into the convent of St Mary Magdalen outside Bologna.
Young Magdalen was too young to wear the Dominican habit, however, she pleaded with the nuns so they eventually gave in. She was filled with so much joy, they gave her the habit and started calling her Sister Imelda.
Sister Imelda began to devote herself to prayer and penance. She was only nine years at that time, yet she already worked hard at obeying the rules of the order.
Sister Imelda discovered a corner at the back of the convent garden made as a small replica of Calvary. She would meditate there on the sufferings of Jesus. She still longed so much to receive Jesus in Communion and would ask “How is it possible to receive Jesus into one’s heart and not die of joy”
The priest returned and was shocked at the sight, he knew then what to do. He held the paten and knelt in adoration before the resplendent Host. As soon as he knelt, the Host slowly descended on the paten. He gave the Host to Sister Imelda who was overjoyed to receive her First Holy Communion.
However, the love and joy she felt were just too much for her. Upon receiving Communion, she closed her eyes and died, her heart still filled with her Savior and his love.
She was beatified in 1826 by Pope Leo XII and declared Patroness of First Communicants.
Her feast is set for May 12.Blessed Imelda, pray for us to love Jesus as you did. Amen.
On May 12, 1333, at age eleven. God’s plans for her were made manifest. She knelt at her usual spot in the choir watching others receiving Holy Communion. Imelda prayed and wept, she wanted to receive Jesus so badly. She remained where she was even as Mass ended and the priest and nuns left the chapel.
The nuns who were leaving suddenly smelled a beautiful fragrance so they headed back into the chapel. To their amazement, they saw a brightly lit Host hovering above Imelda’s head. So they hurriedly went to get the priest.
During her stay at Proceno, the Dominican Saint Agnes Segni would go into the monastery garden alone to pray near an olive plant.
One Sunday morning at the break of dawn she was immersed in prayer from the break of dawn and only after several hours realized that it was a feast day and that she was obliged to attend, attended Holy Mass in the monastery choir.
However, an angel of the Lord came bearing an immaculate Host, giving her Holy Communion. This incident was repeated on other occasions as well
The origin of the prayer "Anima Christi" is uncertain, however, the prayer itself can be traced to go back to the 14th century through popular devotions. St. Ignatius Loyola (October 23, 1491 - July 31, 1551), a Spanish priest and founder of the "Society of Jesus" became a key proponent for the Anima Christi prayer.
Consider who St. Ignatius was, his history. At one time he was a man of power, he was a Soldier who had a different mindset that is common among those whose pride can cause a person to fall away from God. He grew up with much pride wanting to be famous, not for being a religious, but for being a Soldier immolating El Cid, the Knights of Camelot, and other popular stories at the time.
St. Ignatius had developed a skill with the sword winning a number of duels once killing a Moor who denied the Divinity of Christ. He was also known as a womanizer, he was a man who was pursuing his own hopes and dreams.
However, in St. Ignatius case, the Lord had a different plan. He was wounded at the Battle of Pamplona when a cannonball ricochet off a wall he was near shattering his right leg. While he was recovering, Ignatius began reading the lives of the Saints and spiritual works which transformed his life.
With a transformed life, St. Ignatius began using that fire from within that he had for personal glory and turned his whole being to promoting the Glory of God. At some point, the Anima Christi caught his eye and he placed this prayer in his classic writing, "Spiritual Exercises" that helped popularize the prayer.
The Anima Christi goes as follows:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Separated from Thee let me never be. From the malignant enemy, defend me. At the hour of death, call me. And close to Thee bid me. That with Thy saints I may be Praising Thee, forever and ever. Amen.
The prayer follows the importance of Jesus "Bread of Life Discourse" found in the Gospel of St. John (6:51-59). At Mass we receive the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus recognizing Jesus real presence in the Eucharist.
Before a Soldier goes into battle, it is important to prepare oneself before hand giving them the necessary aid to fulfill the mission. Taking that mindset recognizing the great need we have for Jesus in fighting the battle of life, the Anima Christi implores what is necessary to be sanctified, to be saved, to be inebriated, to be washed, and to be strengthened. Jesus who loves us without measure, does hear us, does hide us keeping us close to himself. Jesus is our Deliverer and our Protector from the evil one.
In the Anima Christi there are 11 petitions which are very important:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
2 Thessalonians 2:13, "But we ought to give thanks to God for you always, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first-fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in truth."
Body of Christ, Save me
Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
1 Peter 2:24, "He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
1 John 3:2-3, "Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed* we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure."
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Philippians 4:13, "I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me."
O good Jesus, hear me
1 John 5:14, "And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
Within Thy wounds hide me
Isaiah 53:5, "But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed."
Separated from Thee let me never be
2 Thessalonians 3:6, "We instruct you, brothers, in the name of [our] Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us."
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
At the hour of death, call me
1 Corinthians 1:9, "God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
And close to Thee bid me
James 4:8,10, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you."
That with Thy saints I may be Praising Thee, forever and ever. Amen.
Daniel 7:18, "But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever."
On January 29, 1890 Catholic Convert, Cardinal Newman referred to the Anima Christi as his creed with a little unique translation:
“Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;/ Body of Christ, be my salvation;/ Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;/ Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains,/ Passion of Christ, my comfort be,/ O good Jesus, listen to me/ In Thy wounds I fain would hide/ Ne’er to be parted from Thy side;/ Guard me should the foe assail me;/ Call me when my life shall fail me./ Bid me come to Thee above,/ With Thy Saints to sing Thy love,/ World without end. Amen”
The Anima Christi is a great prayer for the Spiritual Warrior who often finds themselves out on the perimeter fighting the battle keeping the faith.
But the richness of God’s Word is that it often reveals a deeper truth if you know where to look.
When we accept Christ, we accept the loving gift of a second chance — because of his death on the cross, we have a clean slate!
The unleavened bread represents Jesus’ sinless life; he is the only perfect sacrifice for our sins.
In John 6:35, Jesus boldly states that he is the bread of life. Not only does he remove our sins, he nourishes our souls!
That arrival was the day the Church was born — Pentecost — and the harvest began with 3,000 souls. The message spread to both Jews and Gentiles (the two leavened loaves of bread), extending the harvest to us!
The Jewish leaders condemned Jesus, and he — burdened with the sins of all mankind — was led out of the city to be crucified: “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of the world”
Jesus is called Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us” . He put on a temporary tabernacle — a human body — to dwell on this earth and offer himself as a sacrifice.
Bethleham means house of bread