Monday 19 September 2011

The Real Presence.

Catechism lessons with the 15 years-old at the local Catholic school were often a challenge to Father Ignatius. The youngsters were unremitting with their questions and they certainly pulled no punches. Today was no exception.

“Is it true that the Host and Wine at Communion are actually the Body and Blood of Jesus?” asked one of the pupils.

“Why would Jesus want us to eat Him?” asked another.

“That’s cannibalism” retorted a third. And so the questions went on.

Father Ignatius waited until they had stopped and then said calmly:

“Our Faith is full of mysteries. That’s why they call it Faith. If everything was explained to us by God, with every little detail made known, and every fact analysed by scientists, learned people and so on; then it wouldn’t be Faith would it?

“For reasons best known to Himself God has chosen to keep certain things hidden from us. And just as well I think, considering how we managed to mess up the world so far.”

“But is the Host the Body of Christ?” interrupted an impatient youngster.

The priest smiled and continued: “Catholics are invited, by the Church, to believe that the Host is indeed the Body of Christ, and the wine is His Blood.

“Many people have difficulties in believing this; and I can understand why.

“They can’t see what Christ meant at the Last Supper when He uttered those words we know so well. Was it symbolism? Was it fact?”

“What do you think Father?”

The priest habitually cleaned his spectacles as a natural pause and to allow the class to settle. He now knew he had their attention. All eagerly awaiting his reply to the challenging question.

“Let me tell you something first before I answer you” he said.

“Many years ago, about seven hundred years after the Birth of Jesus, there was a Basilian monk who lived in Italy in the Church of St Legontian. He doubted, like many others, the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

“One day, as he was celebrating the Holy Mass at the moment of Consecration the Host turned into live flesh, and the wine was changed into live blood.”

“Gosh …" gasped a young girl.

“This flesh and blood have been preserved, totally intact until today.”

“What? How is this possible?” asked one of the boys.

“That’s true … the flesh is the same dimension as the large Host used in Church, it is light brown in colour. The Blood has coagulated and is slightly brownish yellow.

“Various scientific tests have been undertaken over the years on the flesh and blood and it was discovered that the flesh is real human flesh and the blood is real human blood. The flesh is essentially a human heart.

“The flesh and blood are the same blood-type, AB. That’s the same blood type uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin.”

“Wow …” said one of the children.

“The preservation of the flesh and blood still in their natural state for all these years, over twelve centuries, is an extraordinary phenomenon.” declared the priest.

“After all this time?”

“Yes,” said Father Ignatius, “after all this time the flesh and blood still exist in their natural state. Why don’t you do some research in the library in time for next week’s lesson.

“Here are some clues on what to look for. Search for Eucharistic Miracle, Lanciano, Italy, 8th century AD, The Real Presence.

“I think that’s enough clues to keep you going for now.”


  1. Victor,

    I have a DVD of Eucharistic miracles. No doubt the one you mentioned is included. Father Ignatius is talking to children but your story is a very effective way of sharing the Real Presence with adults as well. I remember talking about Eucharistic miracles with my sister Vicky before she converted.

    I enjoyed your story!

  2. Hello Sue and Cathy,

    Thank you once again for visiting me and for writing in.

    Sue, There's a great website if you Google The Real Presence Lanciano. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll post the link.

    God bless.

  3. I love reading about the miracle of the Eucharist in Lanciano and about modern day Eucharistic miracles too. What a gift to us that the Lord sends proof to uplift our faith! God bless you, Victor.

  4. Victor,
    That particular miracle is a very good one to use to support the Real Presence. I like how Fr. I. used this miracle to answer his students' question about the Real Presence and then invited them to research the miracle some more.
    God bless.

  5. Hi Mary and Karinann,

    Thanx for writing in.

    I'm surprised that this particular miracle is not better known amongst Catholics.

    God bless.



God bless you.