ROME, MAY 5, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Dr. Edoardo Linoli says he held real cardiac tissue in his hands, when some years ago he analyzed the relics of the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy.
The phenomenon dates back to the eighth century. A Basilian monk, who had doubts about the real presence of Christ in the sacred species, was offering Mass, in a church dedicated to St. Legontian in the town of Lanciano.
When he pronounced the words of the consecration, the host was miraculously changed into physical flesh and the wine into physical blood.
Later the blood coagulated and the flesh remained the same. These relics were kept in the cathedral.
Linoli, a professor of anatomy and pathological histology, and of chemistry and clinical microscopy, and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo, is the only doctor who has analyzed the relics of the miracle of Lanciano. His findings have stirred interest in the scientific world.
At the initiative of Archbishop Pacifico Perantoni of Lanciano, and of the provincial minister of the Franciscan Conventuals of Abruzzo, and with authorization from Rome, in November 1970 the Franciscans of Lanciano decided to have the relics examined scientifically.
Linoli was entrusted with the study. He was assisted by Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, retired professor of human anatomy at the University of Siena.
Linoli extracted parts of the relics with great care and then analyzed the remains of “miraculous flesh and blood.” He presented his findings on March 4, 1971.
His study confirmed that the flesh and blood were of human origin. The flesh was unequivocally cardiac tissue, and the blood was of type AB.
Consulted by ZENIT, Linoli explained that “as regards the flesh, I had in my hand the endocardium. Therefore, there is no doubt at all that it is cardiac tissue.”
In regard to the blood, the scientist emphasized that “the blood group is the same as that of the man of the holy Shroud of Turin, and it is particular because it has the characteristics of a man who was born and lived in the Middle East regions.”
“The AB blood group of the inhabitants of the area in fact has a percentage that extends from 0.5% to 1%, while in Palestine and the regions of the Middle East it is 14-15%,” Linoli said.
Linoli’s analysis revealed no traces of preservatives in the elements, meaning that the blood could not have been extracted from a corpse, because it would have been rapidly altered.
Linoli’s report was published in “Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori” in 1971.
In 1973, the Higher Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) appointed a scientific commission to verify the Italian doctor’s conclusions. The work was carried out over 15 months with a total of 500 examinations. The conclusions of all the researches confirmed what had been stated and published in Italy.
The extract of the scientific research of WHO’s medical commission was published in New York and Geneva in 1976, confirming science’s inability to explain the phenomenon.
Today, Linoli participated in a congress on Eucharistic miracles organized by the Science and Faith master’s program of Rome’s Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, in cooperation with the St. Clement I Pope and Martyr Institute, on the occasion of the Year of the Eucharist under way.
“Eucharistic miracles are extraordinary phenomena of a different type,” Legionary Father Rafael Pascual, director of the congress, told Vatican Radio. “For example, there is the transformation of the species of bread and wine into flesh and blood, the miraculous preservation of consecrated Hosts, and some Hosts that shed blood.”
“In Italy, these miracles have occurred in several places,” he said, “but we also find them in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain ” and some in North America.