ROME, MAY 23, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Eucharistic miracles aren’t the foundation of the Catholic faith, but they can surely help endear people to the sacrament.
That view undergirded the opinions expressed at a presentation for a new book, “Miracoli Eucaristici. Tesori Nascosti” (Eucharistic Miracles: Hidden Treasures), published by ART and co-authored by Legionary Father Rafael Pascual and Gianluca Casagrande.
The book presentation last Thursday at the Regina Apostolorum university provided an occasion to reflect on the role of the Eucharist in catechesis.
At the presentation, Giuseppina Sciascia, a Vatican-watcher for RAI International, said that “when photographic cameras did not yet exist and the press had not been invented, painters received much attention, from Leonardo to Raphael, but also minor artists, because of Eucharistic miracles.”
“The history of the Eucharist and inherent miracles is dotted with manifestations of faith in the existence of the body and blood of Christ, in the hosts and in the heresies that deny this truth,” explained the journalist.
“How many times the Lord has shown himself, from Bolsena to Lanciano, precisely when the celebrant had some doubts at the moment of consecration,” she added.
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a former member of the commission that wrote the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, tried to respond to the questions and doubts that still exist today.
“Our faith is not founded on Eucharistic miracles” and there is not even “an obligation for Christians to believe in Eucharistic miracles,” Monsignor Martinelli clarified. Yet, he referred to the Eucharist as “the true and inextinguishable daily miracle.”
“Eucharistic miracles can invite and urge to know, to appreciate and to love the Eucharist,” the monsignor added. “They can help a person to rediscover the mysterious character, beauty and wealth of the Eucharist,” which, as the Compendium of the Catechism states, is the “source and summit of all Christian life.”
The congress ended with an address by Sister Giovanna De Gregorio of the Sisters Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist, diocesan secretary of the Union of Major Superiors.
Sister De Gregorio recounted the story of Sister Maria of the Passion (1866-1912), beatified May 14 in Naples, who, as the constitutions of her religious order indicate, tried to “relive the states of spirit of the Eucharistic Jesus.”
“At the foot of the altar,” she said, “we embrace Christ suffering in the poor, the disinherited, the sick and the imprisoned.”