The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic miracle of the “Holy Cloth Soaked by Blood”
In 1412, the prior of the Basilica of St. Mary of Bagno di Romagna, Fr. Lazzaro da Verona, while celebrating the Holy Mass, was assailed by doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament.
He had just pronounced the words of consecration of the wine when this was transformed into living Blood and began to flow from the chalice and fall onto the corporal.
Fr. Lazzaro, profoundly moved and repentant, confessed his unbelief to the faithful present at the celebration and the profound miracle that the Lord had worked before his eyes.
At Bagno di Romagna, in the Basilica of St. Mary Assumed, the relic of the Eucharistic miracle of the “Holy Cloth Soaked by Blood” is preserved. The historian Fortunio thus describes the miracle in his noted work Annales Camalduenses: “It was the year 1412. The Camaldolese Abbey of Santa Maria in Bagno (then Priorato) was governed by Don Lorenzo, of Venetian origin. While he was celebrating the Divine Sacrifice, he mentally experienced, by diabolical influence, a strong doubt concerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament; when he then saw the Sacred Species of the wine flow over the chalice and fall onto the corporal in the form of living Blood, and thus the corporal remained soaked.
It cannot be told how great was his emotion and perturbation of mind in that instant in the face of such a profound event. In tears, he turned to the bystanders, confessing his unbelief and the miracle which now had taken place before his eyes.”
The monk Lazzaro was then transferred to Bologna as chaplain of the female Camaldolese convent of St. Christine, where he died in 1416. The Camaldolese held the Parish of Bagno until the Napoleonic suppression of 1808; from then the Parish-Basilica of St. Mary Assumed, after having been held for a brief period by the diocese of Sansepolcro, in 1975 passed definitively to become part of the diocese of Cesena.
In 1912, Cardinal Gilio Boschi, Archbishop of Ferrara, celebrated the fifth centenary of the miracle, which was followed by a conference on Eucharistic studies. In 1958, His Excellency Domenico Bornigia, had a chemical analysis done on the marks of the corporal of the miracle at the University of Florence, which confirmed them to be of an ematic nature. In the basilica is found a colored and very rare incision on wood from 1400 called “The Madonna of the Blood,” which is found in the third chapel on the left.
This image is thus named because, as Benedetto Tenaci, abbot of Bagno and eye witness of the miracle on May 20, 1948, tells us, the icon bled from the left arm. Every year, during the Feast of Corpus Christi, the corporal is carried in procession through the streets of the city and is exposed on every Sunday of the temperate season which lasts from March to November, at the Mass celebrated at 11 AM.
Saint Bernard was the central character of an important Eucharistic miracle. The Duke of Aquitania separated himself from the Catholic Church, and he had absolutely no intention of returning to it. Saint Bernard, after he celebrated Mass, went outside the door of the church to the duke and presented the Blessed Sacrament to him. The Duke, deeply moved by a mysterious force, fell to the ground on his knees, begging forgiveness for having left the Catholic Church.
From the biographies of Saint Bernard recounts that the saint “came to Aquitania to reconcile to the Church the duke of this province – but since he refused such reconciliation, the saint of God went towards the altar to celebrate the Mass while the duke, having been excommunicated, waited for him outside the door of the church. After the consecration, Bernard placed the Host on the paten and exited the church, with his face aflame with sacred ire. “When he arrived in front of the duke, he admonished him with these words: ‘We prayed for you and you ridiculed us. Here now, He, the Son of the Virgin, the Lord of the Church, He Whom you persecute, has come to you. Here, you have before you that Judge whose hands one day will hold your soul. Perhaps you will reject Him as you have rejected His servant? Resist Him if you can.’ The duke immediately felt his legs fold underneath him and prostrated himself at the feet of Bernard, who then ordered him to stand on his feet to hear the penitential sentence of God. The duke trembled as he stood and he followed all that Bernard ordered him to do.”
St. John Bosco
SAINT JOHN BOSCO Saint John Bosco was always very devoted to the Eucharist. Numerous are the writings in which the saint speaks of the importance of this sacrament. Once, having only eight Sacred Hosts remaining in the corporal, he began to multiply the Hosts so that he could distribute Communion to the 360 youth who were present at Mass.
Biographies of Saint John recount that in 1848, during a Mass celebrated in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation, Don Bosco realized at the moment he was to distribute Holy Communion to 360 young people that the corporal in the Tabernacle had only eight Sacred Hosts. Everyone noticed and wondered what Don Bosco would do. Giuseppe Buzzetti, who became one of the first Salesian priests, was serving Mass that day when he saw Don Bosco multiply the Hosts and give Holy Communion to the 360 people.
Don Bosco tells the story of what he saw in a dream: a terrible battle at sea caused by a multitude of boats, both large and small, fighting against a sole majestic ship, a symbol of the Church. Hit many times but always victorious, the ship was guided by the Pope to anchor itself securely between two tall pillars in the sea. The first held up high a huge Host with the writing, “Salvation of the Faithful” and the other which was lower, held a statue of Immaculate Mary, with the writing, “Help of Christians”.