Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eucharistic Miracle at St. Augustine's Parish in Saint Paul Minnesota

Editor: St. Augustine's is a parish which has the Immemorial Mass of All Ages in South Saint Paul. Father Echert has long been a priest friendly to tradition of impeccable reputation and great learning, having graduated from the infamous, but very challenging, Biblicum in Rome. He's also a Chaplain in the Air Force where he's served on a number of occasions, ministering to military personnel. What's being gotten at is that he's a very credible and serious man.  The following was received by talibanshayne this morning:

Above is a photo taken by Fr. Echert, pastor of Saint Augustine in South St. Paul, MN, of a consecrated host.

The host had been accidentally dropped on the ground last week during the distribution of Holy Communion at a daily Mass.

It was subsequently placed in water to dissolve so that it could be poured down the sacrarium.

Fr. Grabner, the parochial vicar, went to check on the host a few days later, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and found that not only had it not dissolved, but that it had turned red.

Is there a natural explanation? You decide.

The Chancery has been notified.

One proposed explanation is Serratia Marcescens.  Here's a citation from Wikipedia:

Because of its red pigmentation, caused by expression of the pigment prodigiosin,[13] and its ability to grow on bread, S. marcescens has been evoked as a naturalistic explanation of medieval accounts of the "miraculous" appearance of blood on the Eucharist that led to Pope Urban IV instituting the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. This followed celebration of a mass at Bolsena in 1263, led by a Bohemian priest who had doubts concerning transubstantiation, or the turning of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass. During the Mass, the Eucharist appeared to bleed and each time the priest wiped away the blood, more would appear. While it is possible that Serratia could generate a single appearance of red pigment, it is unclear how it could have generated more pigment after each wiping, leaving this proposed explanation open to doubt. This event is celebrated in a fresco in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, painted by Raphael.[14]
 H/t: Stella Borealis for photo of Father Echert.


Anonymous said...

It is hard for me to make this picture out. Is that white in the middle of the red supposed to be a partially dissolved Host? If so, It looks like a piece of flesh in the midst of blood.


Liam said...

Um, why wasn't the host consumed? I thought that was the first course of action in such a circumstance.

Sounds fishy to me.

Badger Catholic said...

Liam: In Lanciano, He was not consumed either. Depending on the circumstances(becomes flesh on the tongue would be consumed if possible) of the miracle, one may preserve for investigation and in the end to edify the people.

Anonymous said...

It'd be interesting if they can bring this to some scientific exam and see if it's some cardiac tissue like other Eucharistic Miracles.
However, it's probably not necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof will ever be enough. For those who believe, no evidence is necessary. Even if Jesus came alive today and lived in us, still not everyone would believe in Him.
So.... Let us pray.....

Anonymous said...

Seems like it would be easy to do a test on whether the red mark is a fungus or actual blood. They could also do "dummy" experiments to put unleavened, unconsecrated bread in water and see if something similar happens. Seems like there have been several of these "miracles" happen lately where it has soaked in water.

Anonymous said...

@ Liam -- You are correct. When a host has been dropped, the normal action is to pick it up and consume it. I am astounded that a priest would countenance dissolving Our Lord in water and pouring Him down the sacrarium. The Body of Christ deserves more respect.

@ Badger Catholic -- The host at Lanciano began to bleed while the priest was doing the Consecration. It was appropriate for him to save that host. The pink spot on the St. Paul host only developed after the host had been immersed in water for several days. It's most likely that the pink patch is caused by Serratia marcescens or a similar microbe growing on a soggy Body of Christ.

Serratia has played a rather interesting part in human history. The following tiny URL will take you to a page titled "Serratia marcescens: Masquerader of Blood":

A Catholic Biologist


Tancred said...

There may have been other circumstances for why the Host was not immediately consumed as it should have been.

Usually the Host disintegrates in water after a few days, but we'll see.

Liam said...

Well, it would be important to know what they were. It's one of the first questions the Church itself would ask in assessing this situation. The Church is very hard on these things.

Anonymous said...

I've spoken with a priest about this. Normally, the Sacred Host would be consumed but there are times when that is not practicable for some reason. What was done here is perfectly acceptable. The matter is now before the Chancery, vicar general. We should know pretty quickly if it's serratia or some other natural occurence, or if further inquiry is necessary. Even if it is serratia, it seems to be a pretty bizarre way of happening. The facts in the blog, above, are not totally accurate. There is more to it.

Anonymous said...

South St. Paul resident.
What happened to the other photo of the Host that you posted when the Host had turned blood red in the glass container?

Anonymous said...

here are some pics

Anonymous said...

I had seen this fascinating video re: another Eucharistic miracle in Argentina:

(with English subtitles) An objective scientist(not knowing this was from a Eucharist) wondered why the cells from an obviously "dead man" were still "beating" during examination.

re: video topic:

(Zugibe is also an expert on the Shroud of Turin)


Dear friends who usually get my homilies: I am sending along a homily from my friend, young Father Jeffrey Montz. He was ordained a priest a year ago, and is now the Parochial Vicar at St. Frances of Assisi . Perhaps, as moving as the homily is Fr. Jeff's note to me which I have copied and attached to the end of the homily.

Here is Fr. Jeff's Homily: “I am the bread of life.” In the year 2009, I was distributing communion to the faithful when a young woman approached and extended her hands to receive the Eucharist. Almost as soon as I had placed the Host in her hands, she began moving away and in the process she dropped the host. Standing over the fallen Host lying on the ground, a slight giggle, shrug of the shoulders, and re-extended hands, her body language said to me, “Ooops, I dropped it. Can you give me another one?”

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

August 15, 1996 an elderly Eucharistic minister was distributing the Precious Body of Christ to the faithful in a parish in Buenos Aires , Argentina when a similar accident occurred. Not wanting to consume the Host because it was dirty after falling to the ground, he asked the priest to pick it up. Reverently the priest placed the Host in a receptacle of water and put it into the Tabernacle where it would dissolve with time. Six days later when the priest examined the Host that should have been dissolved by now, he was perplexed by what he saw. The Eucharist seemed to have grown in size and was covered with red splotches.

Leave it for a few more days, he thought; it’s just a matter of time. But then with each passing day the Sacred Species took on the appearance of coagulated blood, until eventually the Host looked like a piece of flesh. “The bread that I will give is my flesh.” A miracle! Perhaps, but first this had to be investigated. A lab in Buenos Aires examined a sample from the Host. The scientist discovered red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin, but what perplexed him the most was that the cells were moving and beating.
(cont'd below)

Anonymous said...

(cont'd from above)
Three years later Dr. Ricardo Gomez was called in to perform a more thorough examination. He sent a sample from the Host to a lab in New York but didn’t tell them what it is; he wanted them to tell him what it is. They did. It’s living muscle from a human heart.

Now the year is 2004, Dr. Gomez had located a unique doctor named Frederick Zugibe whose expertise in examining the heart of a dead person allows him to know the nature of the person’s death. He too was given an opportunity to examine the Host without knowing that this heart was formerly a round wafer of wheat bread. His findings?

The heart belonged to a person who had been severely tortured. “So Pilate wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.”

After his examination, Dr. Zugibe passionately said to Dr. Gomez, “You have to explain one thing to me, if this sample came from a person who was dead, then how could it be that as I was examining it the cells of the sample were moving and beating? If this heart comes from someone who died in 1996, how can it still be alive?” When Dr. Gomez explained to Dr. Zugibe that it was the Eucharist, he nearly pulled his hair out of his head in shock.

Backtrack to the 8th Century in Lanciano, a town in southern Italy where a priest was celebrating the Mass doubting that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. As he raised the Host, it instantly transformed into a piece of flesh in his hands. In the 1970's this piece of flesh, which remains available for veneration to this day, was tested by a leading Italian doctor. His findings? It is living muscle from a human heart. Dr. Gomez decided to cross examine the Host from Buenos Aires with this Host from Lanciano.

Amazingly, both hearts were found to have come from the same person. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” My brothers and sisters, our faith proclaims to us the wondrous mystery that Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. It’s no mere symbol, no mere reenactment. It is the Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ! What I place in your hand or upon your tongue is not a ritual piece of bread. I place God in your hand! I place God on your tongue!

I know that even after telling you the story of the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires , I haven’t proven this. I can never prove this truth, because it’s a matter of faith. However, all I’m asking my brothers and sisters is that you ponder the story I shared with you this morning.

Perhaps, the skeptic in you calls it all a bunch of lies.

Perhaps, the unimpressed call it a coincidence.

Perhaps you’re a person of faith and you’re in awe at what I’ve shared with you. All I ask is that if there’s the slightest inkling in your hearts that what you receive in the Eucharist is the flesh of God, then please my brothers and sisters, never let the lance that pierced my heart in 2009 when that young woman stood carelessly over God’s fallen Body pierce my heart again. Please treat this mystery which you receive with the reverence God deserves.


Anonymous said...

You people have issues. Get a life. It's not a miracle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You people have issues. Get a life. It's not a miracle.

July 19, 2011 1:33 PM

Which issue/instance isn't a miracle?

Tancred said...

Comments by trolls will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

You can make negative or critical points, but just having a point goes a long way toward communicating whatever it is your thinking, if you think.

Daurade said...

So, what happened in the end? I haven't seen any follow-up and wonder about the tests performed upon it....

Daurade said...

Tancred, lol, the dryness of your response gave me a chuckle. I followed the link to your profile, so in response: I'm Protestant, republican (in the wider sense, not in the GOP sense) and lazy.... ;) Good to see someone lay it out up front, at least one knows where they stand....and we both dislike trolls. We can all agree on something!

Tancred said...

Hi Daurade, these things take time. The authorities probably wish we'd not broken this story, because it means they're going to have to engage an expensive investigation involving man hours.

I don't know how they're going to do it, but I expect one of the first things they'll do is test the blood sample and see if there are any human cells. If there are human cells, they're going to have other questions as well.

Obviously, skeptics are going to challenge the process and the findings because they assume that such things are impossible anyway and that from their perspective it's far more likely that someone would be cheating.

Anyway, the Church is worried about scandal and the reputation of the Church, they probably also don't want to deal with the headache of having a stream of spiritually hungry people coming to South Saint Paul to see a miracle and having something special change their lives.

That's what the Church is all about, though. Hope I've answered your question, sorta.

These things take time. It's been almost thirty years and there is still no definitive statement from the Church on Medjugorje which many, even Catholic people, believe is a hoax.

Anonymous said...

It takes no time or proof for a miracle like at St. Augustine to reach those intended by God to receive it. I thank God for continuing to show us in miracles such as this....I believe because I have seen, but blessed are those who believe without seeing!

lyndonita rivala said...

It's so nonsensical for a Good God to manifest Himself in dropped consecrated hosts where there should be much, much better ways for Him to turn the human race into kind and godly human beings: that's by opening the skies and showing His face and admonishing us all to be better ot crap he'll kick our ass so bad - all the way to hell!!!

Tancred said...

Wonder why you think you deserve to see something like that.

Slick said...

Scientists and the Church have determined that this was a FUNGUS, not a miracle. Case closed.

Tancred said...

What kind of fungus was it?

Anonymous said...

Transgenres et femmes : gratuit le mardi et mercredi.

Anonymous said...

Our resident triple-threat dancer, singer аnd actress.