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Nov 3, 2021

The Amazing Science of Recent Eucharistic Miracles: A Message from Heaven? 

Jeannette Williams

This article was originally published April 13, 2020. It has been updated to reflect more recent research.

The Vatican International Exhibition: The Eucharistic Miracles of the World catalogs the 100+ purported Eucharistic miracles that have been recorded and venerated since the earliest days of the Church to the present. The exhibit tours the world, drawing attention to the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

When we think about Eucharistic miracles, we may be tempted to think that most of them are unsubstantiated stories that only happened in the “old days” and couldn’t happen today in our age of science.

The last few decades, however, have seen a surge in Eucharistic miracles, which cannot be explained by science. And in most of these recent miracles, the Eucharist turns into human flesh and blood.

The consistency among the scientific results is startling. Let’s begin with the oldest-known verifiable case of the Eucharist transforming into physical flesh and blood—the Miracle of Lanciano, which took place in 750AD and underwent testing in the 1970s. The facts of this case are stunning.

The Most Remarkable Miracle of the Middle Ages

In 750AD, a priest experienced a terrible temptation to doubt the True Presence while He was saying Mass. As he pronounced the words of consecration, the host and the wine transformed into what appeared to be flesh and blood.

In 1970, more than 1,200 years later, the archbishop of Lanciano, with Rome’s approval, requested a thorough scientific examination of the miraculous relics by Dr. Edward Linoli, director of the hospital at Arezzo and professor of anatomy, histology, chemistry, and clinical microscopy. His report, submitted on March 4, 1971, detailed the following results:

  • The coagulated substance is human blood, AB blood type, with the same protein distribution as found in normal, fresh blood
  • The host is human muscular striated tissue of the myocardium, left ventricle (heart); arteries, veins, branch of vagus nerve, and adipose tissue all can be identified
  • Like the blood, the flesh is also fresh, living tissue, because it “responded rapidly to all the clinical reactions distinctive of living beings” as if the flesh and blood samples had been taken that day
  • Histological tests revealed no sign of preservation techniques of any kind

The Miracles in the Age of Science

Until the 1990s, Lanciano was the only proven case of the Eucharist turning into human flesh. Other cases have not been tested with modern scientific equipment, nor have the many dozens of bloodstains on corporals and chalices that have been preserved and are venerated as having come from bleeding hosts. But in 1992, the miracles started happening again.

1992 and 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina: In 1992, consecrated particles left on the corporal were put into water to dissolve and locked in the tabernacle, as the Church prescribes for disposing of consecrated hosts. One week later, they had changed into a red substance. Then again in 1996 after a consecrated host fell to the ground and was also put in water to dissolve, it was found a few days later to have turned into a bloody substance. Both cases were sent to be tested by the archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was none other than our future Pope Francis.

2006, Tixtla, Mexico: During a retreat, a religious sister who was distributing Communion looked down and noticed that one of the Hosts had begun to bleed and transform.

2008, Sokolka, Poland: A consecrated Host fell to the ground during Communion and was put in water and locked in a tabernacle to dissolve. A week later, most of the Host was dissolved except for a red “clot” that remained.

2013, Legnica, Poland: A consecrated Host fell and was put in water and locked in a tabernacle. Two weeks later a red spot covered one-fifth of the undissolved Host.

Startling Scientific Results

Each of these occurrences received intensive study with highly advanced technology. In several cases, doctors did not know the source of the material. And yet, in all the cases, the same results were found, and are consistent with the results of Lanciano, providing even more details due to more advanced science:

  • The blood is human, AB blood type; human DNA was found; white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, and mycrophages were present, indicating fresh blood; in the Tixtla miracle, the blood clearly emanated from within, because the blood on the surface had begun to coagulate but the interior blood was still fresh, as with a bleeding wound
  • The flesh is human myocardium tissue of the left ventricle of an inflamed heart; in the miracles from Argentina and Poland, there was evidence of trauma from the presence of thrombi, indicating repeated lack of oxygen; lesions present showed rapid cardiac spasms typical in the final phases of death
  • In the Sokolka miracle, the remaining host is tightly interconnected with the fibers of human tissue, penetrating each other inseparably – as if the bread were transforming into flesh. “Even NASA scientists, who have at their disposal the most modern analytical techniques, would not be able to artificially recreate such a thing,” affirmed Dr. Sobaniec-Lotowska, one of the examining experts.

Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a forensic doctor at Columbia University who examined the Argentinian miracle, did not know the source of the sample and told the doctor who brought it to him, “If white blood cells were present (in the heart tissue), it is because at the moment you brought me the sample, it was pulsating.” When he learned the source of the sample, he was shocked and deeply moved.

Why?

Why has the Lord suddenly multiplied Eucharistic miracles in the last few decades? Are we, like Doubting Thomas, refusing to believe unless we see, touch, and feel for ourselves? Jesus in his love for Thomas condescended to let him see, touch, and feel his wounds in order to believe. Perhaps he is now doing the same for us.

So many young people have rejected religion as “unscientific.” So here’s the science to prove our faith. Others say they don’t believe in religion because it’s just opinion or contrary to “reason.” Here’s quantifiable, measurable, physical evidence.

But more is going on here. The Church teaches:

“in the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’

CCC 1374

Scripturally, we see this in John 6:48-58 and 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 11:27. Yet the Eucharist is transforming into human heart only. 

It’s as if Jesus, by transforming into a human heart, is crying out to us, “I’m here! I love you! My heart yearns for you! Was not my crucifixion enough to prove my love for you? See, then, and believe. I have remained hidden in the Eucharist for these two thousand years that I may remain close to you. Please, approach me. Receive me. Quench my thirst for your love.”

How Shall We Respond to This Plea from Heaven?

If our Lord has condescended to make himself so evident to us in order to be heard above the noise of our modern world, gratitude alone should impel us to respond. In the words of St. Gemma Galgani:

“Let us go to Jesus. He is all alone and hardly anyone thinks of him. Poor Jesus.”

Go to confession. Receive him in Communion. Spend time in Adoration. Learn more about the Mass and the Eucharist so that you may appreciate him more. On the Cross, Jesus cried out, “I thirst.” As many saints have told us, it was not water he was thirsting for—it was you. Quench his thirst. 


You May Also Like:

Christ Spans the Centuries in Eucharistic Miracles: Buenos Aires & Lanciano

The Eucharistic Miracle Overseen by Archbishop Bergoglio (Pope Francis)

Why Society Needs More Eucharistic Adoration

Altaration: The Mystery of the Mass Revealed [study program]


Jeannette Williams is the part-time communications coordinator of St. Jude Church and Shrine in Chalfont, Pennsylvania and a freelance writer and blogger. The mother of six, she homeschooled the first five through high school in the classical tradition, while the youngest now attends a new classical high school, Martin Saints, in Oreland, Pennsylvania. Jeannette’s greatest passion, besides her family, is to study the Catholic Faith and share it with others. When she’s not writing, Jeannette enjoys studying Spanish and Japanese, gardening, and spending time with her husband and children.


Photo by David Eucaristía from Pexels


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  • Sorry to have to say this, but I don’t believe the WHO would engage in such a study. It’s not in the scope of work they do. Searching the web indicates that mention of the WHO study is likely an urban legend. I would recommend a check of sources.

    This is not to place any doubt in the miracle or the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, just want to make sure we don’t push forward stories that are not supported by reliable sources, much less when we intend to talk about scientific evidence and records.

    • You make a very good point, Andres! Since the research was long before the internet and the WHO has changed dramatically, the report isn’t readily available, although it is referenced by Zenit, a very reputable organization.

      As you say, it’s hardly necessary to reference WHO at all. The scientific evidence of these remarkable miracles stands on its own two feet. Thanks for the valuable feedback.

      • Hi can you please provide the reference at/by Zenit? I don’t understand how we can “report” scientific findings without a scientific report or paper.

        • I concur that it would be wonderful to post the actual scientific report and not just excerpts. I have searched the internet but have been unsuccessful in locating any scientific reports which allows critics to discount the miracle.

          • As a senior medic of over 25 years, it is not common medical practice to report actively on something that we can’t explain scientifically. Papers are written to explain natural events in scientific terms…enough said

          • Would be cool to look at the UN study, but here is the link to the research on the miracle by Doctor Odoardo Linoli, professor in anatomy and pathological histology as well as chemistry and clinical microscopy, and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo that was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971 showing the same results.

            Hopefully, you have taken Italian or might have a hard time reading it.
            https://web.archive.org/web/20201007171625/http://handsonapologetics.com/Miracolo%20Euaristico_Eucharistic%20Miracle.PDF

          • Hi, Mark,
            I have since found a video that shows the Italian and English translations of the Lanciano report “Miracle of Lanciano Medical Report by Dr. Linoli” on The Joy of the Faith channel.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaoaHNhX1pk

            I wish I’d never mentioned the WHO. It caused unnecessary controversy for an otherwise well-documented miracle, and is now considered not credible. If Ascension would remove that reference, that would be great.

          • Hi, Mark,
            I have since found a video that shows the Italian and English translations of the Lanciano report “Miracle of Lanciano Medical Report by Dr. Linoli” on The Joy of the Faith channel. It may help with your friends.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaoaHNhX1pk

            I wish I’d never mentioned the WHO. It caused unnecessary controversy for an otherwise well-documented miracle.

      • I tasted blood in the Eucharist around 2000. It recurred on and off for about 7 years. The first time was so profound. I was discounted by a university based priest.

  • I came across your article while searching for information or sources on the scientific research that was conducted on these miracles, especially Sokolka Poland. I have children in the medical field who have fallen away from the faith and I would like to challenge them with this research. For example, the Shroud of Turin, has a website where all this information is made available but there isn’t anything, that I can find, where we can go to see the researchers actual findings of other phenomena. Are you aware of any resources like that?

  • For those asking for scientific results:
    2008 miracle is very likely mold -https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/6461051/Miracle-as-communion-wafer-becomes-heart-tissue.html#:~:text=Pawel%20Grzesiowskia%2C%20a%20leading%20biologist,the%20eastern%20village%20of%20Sokolka.

    2006 miracle was also mold according to a now deleted article-
    https://localtvkstu.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/bleeding-host-was-mold-not-miracle-according-to-diocese/

    As for Lanciano- can’t find anything regarding the WHO reviewing anything and apparently the branch of the WHO that investigated doesn’t even exist.
    Buenos Aires- Both of these miracles were overseen by none other than the future Pope Francis. However, I find the reports on these to be only of catholic origin from what I have found which are likely biased.

    I personally think that if any of these were real, they would have caught much more attention world wide. I also would like to have access to the actual reports and who exactly did them. For example, the examiner (Catholic) of the 2008 miracle stated that it was flesh, however, the other scientists are rightfully skeptical and want more testing (which has not happened). As others looking into it have pointed out, there’s really no way to verify Lanciano as real either because of how long ago it was. I’m not writing this to be a jerk, this is simply what I have found. I desperately hope that at least one of these are real as it’s terrifying how much science can explain, but if they’re not then I have to accept that as hard as it is. I suppose I could attempt to email the WHO, but it’s not my right to see those documents if they exist anyway. Again, not trying to damper anyone’s spirits. I just wanted answers and this is what I got.

    • Just curious, do you honestly think the world really wants to be convinced there is something beyond the visible world?

      • I mean, to be honest Christianity was forced onto everyone when invaders came into land. Native Americans already believed in Spirituality, but they were forced to be Christian or they would be killed. So, what you’re looking for is yes. But not in Christianity all the time.

    • To me, the Eucharist isn’t about whether these miracles are real or not for the Eucharist is not part of what science can observe, it is metaphysical. The being, the essence the “soul” of that bread and wine is the Body of Christ not in an observable or scientific way, but in a metaphysical one.

    • Couldn’t agree more. The Church deals with the metaphysical in the Eucharist and science cannot explain it. Science can’t prove that the being or substantial part of the Eucharist is bread and wine, it can only observe and see the characteristics present in the observable world, not the metaphysical part.

  • That’s nice and all but I checked the WHO myself to get a full scoop on it and it’s not there <3. They have no public releases on the test for the Eucharist so if you have any contradicting result I would LOVE a link~! <3

  • I was telling several catholic friends about Lanciano and Argentina and they had never heard of them before. I had not either until a friend from Mexico told me about it after a pilgrimage to Lanciano. All of us asked the same question…….why were we not told about this in our Catholic schools as children back in 50’s & 60’s and why don’t we hear about them in our churches and in our Catholic newspapers? Lots of other things have happened too that we have no idea of unless you have someone from another country tell you about. WHY?

  • The late Frederick Zugibe M.D., wasn’t just any “forensic doctor.” He was also one of the foremost experts and researchers on the topic of crucifixion as it relates to the Shroud of Turin and the belief that it is the image of the crucified Christ. That he would be “shocked and deeply moved” comes as no surprise. He was reportedly a devout Catholic–during a Shroud conference in Richmond, VA, I happen to also attend mass there and saw Dr. Zugibe on the Communion line, and I later read that he was a eucharistic minister at the Catholic church that he regularly attended. As per his wishes, he is buried in Fatima, Portugal, due to his devotion to our Lady of Fatima. I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture he conducted around 2005 or not long after, in support of his final book, “The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry.”

    • Yes, I recently saw something about that. I do wish Ascension would delete my reference to the WHO report, as it detracts from all the other provable evidence.

      I have since found a video that shows the Italian and English translations of the Lanciano report “Miracle of Lanciano Medical Report by Dr. Linoli” on The Joy of the Faith channel.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaoaHNhX1pk

      I wish I’d never mentioned the WHO. It caused unnecessary controversy for an otherwise well-documented miracle.

  • The publish link goes nowhere, why is it so hard to get a scientific reviewed paper on any catholic miracles? Atheists demand it and yet you could spend a day searching and never find one online…

  • I was born to a Catholic mom I went thru to confirmation…I have been divorced 2xs…I went back to Confession was told I would have to get an Annulment from the Church for the divorces…(almost $2,000.00 each) in order to receive Communion….
    why ??? can’t I be forgiven and get Communion….

  • How do we ensure that it was not cheating in AD750? The Catholic church is notorious for marketing miracles… I have witnessed one, but we exposed their trick…

  • Thank you for your interview with Gus Lloyd today on the SiriusXM Catholic Channel’s Sieze the Day.
    I am so amazed at these findings. You put it all in one place! I’ll be sharing with all my non-Catholic friends, and also those who have fallen away from the Church. God bless you! 🙏✝️

    • Gloria, I just saw this reply. Thank you for your kind words! I really enjoyed being on the show.

      I have since found a video that shows the Italian and English translations of the Lanciano report “Miracle of Lanciano Medical Report by Dr. Linoli” on The Joy of the Faith channel. It may help with your friends.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaoaHNhX1pk

      I wish I’d never mentioned the WHO. It caused unnecessary controversy for an otherwise well-documented miracle.

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