Pope Remembers Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano

Host Transformed into a Human Heart and Wine to Blood

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II called attention to the 8th century miracle in Lanciano, Italy at the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist.

In a letter addressed to Archbishop Carlo Ghidelli of Lanciano-Ortona, the Pope said: «I very much desire that, during the Year of the Eucharist, every diocesan community renew publicly its act of faith in Jesus present in the sacrament of the altar and inspire all its life and pastoral action in the Eucharistic spirituality that emerges so clearly in the evangelical accounts.»

According to tradition, a Basilian monk who was celebrating Mass in the Latin rite in the church of St. Legonziano in Lanciano, began to doubt the real presence of Christ under the sacred species after the consecration. At that very moment, the priest saw how the sacred host was transformed into human flesh and the wine into blood, which later coagulated. Today these relics are kept in the cathedral.

On Nov. 18, 1970, Dr. Edoardo Linoli analyzed the remains of «miraculous flesh and blood» and concluded that it was human myocardial tissue and genuine blood, respectively.

«For us, Christians, the Eucharist is everything. It is the center of our faith and the source of all our spiritual life,» the Pope explained in his letter, emphasizing that this applies «in a particular way» to the community of Lanciano.

The city is «custodian of two Eucharistic miracles that, besides being very much loved by the faithful of the place, are the object of numerous pilgrimages from Italy and the whole world,» he said.

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