In about the 700th year of Our Lord, in a monastery then named for St. Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced the side of Christ with a lance, a priest monk of the Order of St. Basil was celebrating the Holy Mass according to the Latin Rite. Although his name is unknown, it is reported in ancient documents that he had recurrent doubts regarding transubstantiation (the change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ). He had just spoken the solemn words of Consecration when the Host was suddenly changed into a circle of flesh, and the wine was transformed into visible blood. The priest praised God for blessing him in such a way and invited all present to view the miracle. Word spread and people came from far and wide to view the miracle.

The Flesh remained intact and the Blood congealed into five pellets which exhibited peculiar physical characteristics. The Host and the five pellets were placed in an ivory reliquary. Over the years this miracle has been in the hands of many religious orders. In 1887 Archbishop Patracra of Lanciano gained a plenary indulgence for those who would visit the Church of the Miracle during the eight days preceding the annual feast which was the last Sunday of October.

Many verifications of the miracles have been done throughout the centuries, the last in 1970. The following conclusions were ascertained: the flesh was striated muscular tissue of the myocardium having no trace of preservative agents. The flesh and the blood were of human origin, belonging to the same blood type, AB. Their findings conclusively excluded the possibility of fraud.

The ostensorium containing this miracle is now kept in a tabernacle over the high altar in the Church of St. Francis.

Remain With Me
Fr. Sam Tiesi, T.O.R.

Reprinted  from Witness Ministries, a lay apostolate dedicated to renewing appreciation for the Mass as the greatest gift which God has given to His beloved spouse, the Church. Their mission is to show how, in the Eucharistic Liturgy, Jesus renews and transforms us–and the world–in His life and love.