The Real Presence

Blind faith” isn’t a Catholic thing. God not only gave us our ability to reason, but also respects our need for evidence by providing abundant miracles. Yesterday, I posted a brief video about one of my favorite Marian miracles. Today, I want to share one of the most recent of all the Eucharistic miracles, which occurred in Sokółka, Poland, in 2008.

N.b., After spending way too much time googling things like “how to pronounce” and “phonetic alphabet”, I am still not sure how to pronounce Sokółka. Best guess is suh KOW kuh.

On Sunday, October 12, 2008, during the 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Sokółka, Poland, a consecrated host fell to the floor. The priest placed it in a small container of water and locked it up. Only two people had keys – the priest and the sacristan. (Photo above by Piotr Widerski)

The plan was to pour the water into the sacrarium once the host had completely dissolved. A sacrarium is a special sink that preserves the dignity of sacred things by emptying straight into the earth, not into the sewer. E.g., during Mass, the vessels used for Holy Eucharist are wiped clean with special linens, which are then washed after Mass in the sacrarium.

A week later, the host was still largely intact, but had acquired a curved, bright red stain on it. However, the water was untainted by the color. When the archbishop was notified, he ordered the stained host to be taken out of the water and placed on a corporal and locked in the tabernacle. By mid-January of 2009, the altered fragment of the host had dried out naturally, and remained like a blood stain or clot; since then, its appearance has not changed.

The archbishop created an ecclesial commission to study the phenomenon and requested histopathological studies be done. Two Medical Doctors at the Medical University of Bialystok independently analyzed pieces of the altered host. The results of both independent studies were in perfect agreement not only with each other, but also with scientific analyses of other Eucharistic miracles. That is, that the bread had somehow turned into a piece of myocardial (heart) tissue of a living person who is nearing death.

In its official report, the Metropolitan Curia of Bialystok stated: “The Sokolka event is not opposed to the faith of the Church; rather, it confirms it. The Church professes that, after the words of consecration, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread is transformed into the Body of Christ, and the wine into His Blood. Additionally, this is an invitation for all ministers of the Eucharist to distribute the Body of the Lord with faith and care, and for the faithful to receive Him with adoration.”

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