The Guardian Angel: The Eucharistic miracle of Santarém 1340
The Eucharistic miracle of Santarém, together with that of Lanciano, is considered among the most important Eucharistic miracles. Numerous studies and canonical analyses were carried out on the relics.
The Host changed into bleeding Flesh and Blood flowed out of the Blessed Sacrament. Both relics are preserved to this day in the Church of St. Stephen in Santarém.
Some Popes granted plenary indulgences to this Eucharistic miracle: Pius IV, St. Pius V, Pius VI, and Pope Gregory XIV. Still today, in the Church of St. Stephen of Santarém, it is possible to admire these precious relics.
According to the date recorded in the document commissioned by King Alfonso IV in 1346, on February 16, 1266 in Santarém, a young woman overcome with jealousy for her husband, consulted a sorceress who told her to go to the church and steal a consecrated Host to use for a love potion. The woman stole the Host and hid the Holy Eucharist in a linen cloth that immediately became stained with Blood. Frightened by this, she ran home and opened the kerchief to see what had happened.
To her amazement, she saw that the Blood was gushing from the Host. The confused woman stored the Particle in a drawer in her bedroom. That night the drawer began to emit brilliant rays of light which illuminated the room as if it were daytime. The husband was also aware of the strange phenomenon and questioned his wife, who was obligated to tell him everything.
The next day, the couple informed the pastor, who went to the home to remove the Host and return the Blessed Sacrament to the Church of St. Stephen in solemn procession, accompanied by many religious and lay people. The Host bled for three consecutive days, and was then placed in a beautiful reliquary made of beeswax.
In 1340 another miracle occurred. When the priest opened the tabernacle, he found the beeswax vase broken into many pieces: in its place was a crystal vase containing the Blood mixed with the wax.
The Sacred Host is now preserved in an 18th century Eucharistic throne above the main altar. The Church of St. Stephen is now known as the Shrine of the Holy Miracle.
Throughout the centuries, on various occasions the Host gave new emissions of Blood, and in some cases various images of Our Lord were seen in the Holy Eucharist. Among the witnesses of this prodigy is St. Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies, who visited the shrine before going on the missions.
Every year since the miracle occurred, on the second Sunday of April, the precious relic is processed from the home of the couple to the Church of St. Stephen. The couple’s home became a chapel in the year 1684.