Looking After a Eucharistic Miracle: Franciscan Recounts His Special Mission in Siena
Here's one I didn't know- If a consecrated host deteriorates, the real presence of Christ disappears. How was this determined? Drop me a comment, and save me some time-
Aug. 14, 1730: Eve of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. That day in all the churches of Siena the priests consecrated additional hosts for those who might wish to receive the Body of Christ the following day. 351 Consecrated hosts stolen during the night.
Aug. 14, 1730: The hosts were returned, unharmed.
The hosts were full of dust and cobwebs. The priests cleaned them with great care. Then there was a day of adoration and reparation. Thousands of faithful arrived in the basilica in thanksgiving for the finding of the hosts. They were not distributed, it seems, because the Franciscans wanted the pilgrims to adore them until the moment they deteriorated (because on being deteriorated, the real presence of Christ would disappear).
But the hosts remained intact. The people began to consider them miraculous and increasingly pilgrims went to pray before them. A few were distributed on special occasions.
Today: 223 hosts remain, in the same state they were in the day they were consecrated.
Interpretation of the priest in charge of "looking after" this miracle:
The Eucharistic miracle of Siena "represents a proof of the love of God for us and the presence to sustain us against doubts, difficulties -- the miracle with which God the Father is helping the Church not to be afraid, to live the presence of her founder sent by the Father to do his will."
"Here two miraculous things happen," explained Father Spring pointing to the hosts consecrated almost three centuries ago. "Time does not exist, it has stopped"; and "composite bodies and organic substances are subject to withering. For these hosts, neither fungus nor elements that break them down subsist. It is a living, continuous miracle. We do not know until when the Lord will permit it."