Megan Bodenschatz

Did You Know?: The Eucharistic Miracle of Laciano, Italy

According to Wikipedia, plenty of things happened in the 8th century. Arabs learned to make paper from the Chinese, the Mayan civilization was flourishing and Beowulf was probably being composed. But! Did you know that it was also the time of one of the first Eucharistic miracles, which happened in Laciano, Italy?

Around 750 AD., at a monastery called St. Longinus, a monastic priest was having doubts about the Lord's presence in the Eucharist. One day, he was celebrating Mass and at the words of the consecration the host turned to flesh in appearance and the wine turned to blood. He quickly called the astonished congregation up to the altar to see for themselves.

The flesh stayed the same, but the blood solidified into five pellets. Even though they were different sizes and shapes, when the pellets were weighed they each weighed the same. When one pellet was put on the scale it weighed the same as the five together.

The monastery was eventually taken over by the Franciscans, who rebuilt the church and named it after St. Francis. The miraculous flesh and blood stayed there, on display in reliquaries.

Over the years, many tests have been performed on the flesh and blood. In 1970, Dr. Edoardo Linoli was called in to take a closer, scientific look at them. Dr. Linoli was a professor of anatomy and pathological histology and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the hospital of Arezzo. In other words, he knows a lot about the human body.

Dr. Linoli discovered that the substances are definitely human flesh and human blood. They're both blood type AB and the flesh comes from a human heart. A chemical analysis revealed no trace of preservatives to explain how the substances have lasted so long.

In the Gospel Jesus told us that He's present in the Eucharist when He said 'This is my body.' (Matthew 26:26) It can be hard to believe sometimes that a piece of bread has become Jesus, so every now and then God aids us in our faith by performing a miracle such as this.

Read more about all the Eucharistic miracles from different countries:

The Real Presence website- Eucharistic Miracles of the World, Vatican International Exhibition

Megan Bodenschatz

About the Author

I will read anything that stands still long enough. I also love going to the movies, meeting people from other countries, and spending time with my 16 cousins. I usually win the "Youngest-Person-at-Daily-Mass Award" whenever I go.