Miracle of The Eucharist of Lanciano New Version 2018
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Miracle of The Eucharist of Lanciano New Version 2018
We thought you might want to see how the new version of our Miracle of the Eucharist of Lanciano segment looks after upgrading it to HD
St. Ignatius of Antioch – Martyred for the Faith
“I have no pleasure in the food of corruption or in the delights of this life. I desire ‘Bread of God’ which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, who was the ‘Seed of David’ and for drink I desire His Blood, which is incorruptible love”.14
St. Ignatius was the holy fiery bishop of Antioch in the late First, and early Second Centuries. It is believed, he had a personal relationship with Sts. Peter and Paul; it has been written it was Peter who recommended Ignatius to be the second Bishop of Antioch, a post which he held for 40 years. There are also narratives about his knowing and visiting Our Lady. Well, think about it; he was part of that time, just after the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus; he was part of that great rush of excitement of the early community of believers.
He was a powerful disciple, although he never took credit for it. He is considered the most important pastor in the post- Apostolic era. He was the first and strongest Defender of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist against heretics, of that very early time in the church, who denied that Jesus had both a physical Body and Spirit (Docetism), and that, therefore, we do not receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, because He never had a Body. St. Ignatius battled against these heretics throughout his entire ministry, even as he was being carted off to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the Amphitheater. He wrote letters defending the Real Presence of Jesus to various Bishops of the Church in Asia, condemning the heretics and the errors they were spreading about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Now, what happened next is something only the Lord could do. You know the saying, “God works in mysterious ways”? Well, this is a perfect example. In Antioch, Ignatius was condemned to be sent to Rome, where he was to be thrown to the wild ferocious animals, to be devoured by them in the Coliseum or Amphitheaters. They also hoped that he could be used as a powerful example to the Christians about what happens
to anyone defying the Emperor, no matter how important he is. As an important member of the Christians, if they could persuade him to save his life by hailing the Emperor instead of Christ, they would be able to control them and kill this movement that they could not squash, even by the threat of the Coliseum.
He was a big figure in the church. So you would think they would send him on an express boat directly to Rome. Right? Wrong! They sent him on the equivalent of what we would call today a “cattle car” or “banana boat”, or a local train. It made every stop possible all over Asia on the way from Antioch to Rome. News of his arrival at various cities got to the various cities before he did. As his ship docked each time, at the various cities, the Faithful came to meet and listen to him preach on the Reality of the Eucharist, of the Lord Who is with us. It was as if, the Emperor sent him on a final missionary journey at the expense of the state, on his way to Rome.
His writings have always been considered important and authentic, because they were actually taken from the time of Jesus. Ignatius lived in that period of the Infant Church, during the Acts of the Apostles, and the missionary journeys of Sts. Peter and Paul, Barnabas and Luke, Mark, St. John and all the early evangelists. What we receive from the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch about the Eucharist, are not teachings which were handed down to him. He got on-hands training. He was there when they were being taught for the first time. We’ve only picked out a few of his teachings about the Eucharist. They are powerful:
“Make an effort, then to meet more frequently to celebrate our Lord’s Eucharist and to offer praise. For when you meet frequently in the same place, the forces of Satan are overthrown, and his baneful influence is neutralized by the unanimity of your faith. Peace is a precious thing; it puts an end to every war waged by fallen angels or earthly enemies.”
“Take care, then to partake of one Eucharist; for one is the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one the cup to unite us with His Blood, and one Altar, just as there is one bishop assisted by
the presbyters and the deacons, my fellow servants.”
When St. Ignatius was on his way to be martyred, he begged his followers not to interfere. His only request was:
“Only pray for me that God may give me grace within as well as without, not only to say it but to desire it, that I may not only be called, but be found a Christian. Suffer me to be the food of wild beasts through whom I may attain unto God. I am God’s grain and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found the pure bread of Christ.”15
The principal characters in this miraculous account are a newlywed couple, Ricciarella and Giacomo (James) Stasio, their mule, and a witch. Apparently, the newlyweds’ marriage was not made in heaven. They had nothing in common. Giacomo cared more for his mule than for his wife. There is no indication as to what was the cause of their problem, whether the wife was at fault or the husband. We do know that the wife, Ricciarella wanted a better life for them. She thought if they had a better sex life, they would be more happily married. She never considered getting even with her husband for his treatment of her, or of having extra marital affairs. She just wanted a better life with him.
To this end, she enlisted the services of a local sorceress, or witch. The witch had a powerful reputation for bringing the excitement back into marriages whose fire had gone out. The witch prescribed the following potion:
“Go to Communion, but don’t swallow the Host. Take it home, put it on the stove, and burn it. Take the ashes and throw them into his wine or his soup. Then let me know the effect. You’ll see that he will walk in heat like cats on a fence.”
This description of how her husband would react to the potion gave Ricciarella just the incentive she needed to justify committing this terrible act. She knew, because of her upbringing in the faith, that this was an act of Sacrilege. We have to wonder how she must have wrestled with her conscience before she made the decision to perform this horrible act.
Whatever justification finally gave her the courage, she set out for the church to take part in the Mass, and receive Our Dear Lord Jesus in Communion. Her heart pounded as she rehearsed the plot over and over again in her mind. At the proper time, Ricciarella, looking like a little saint, went up to the priest to receive Communion. After having received the Host, she turned away from the priest quickly, so that she could remove the Lord from her mouth. She made sure she was not caught in the act.
She left the Church and ran through the streets of Lanciano until she reached her home. Her hands shook violently. She started a fire under an earthen pot. Then, when it was very hot, she took the Host, and placed It in the pot. It began to smoke. She could not take her eyes away from the wickedness she was performing. The driving force that prevented her from stopping this madness was the change she fantasized would take place in her husband towards her. The outside of the Host turned into flesh, and began to bleed profusely. The center of the Host retained its original form. The blood gushed from the Host Turned Flesh.
She panicked. She didn’t know what to do. The blood covered the bottom of the pot, which was filling quickly. She took wax and dirt and threw them into the pot. She filled the pot with dirt, but the blood seeped through the dirt, rising to the top of the pot. She grabbed a huge linen table cloth and wrapped the pot in it. She didn’t know where to put it. She ran out to the stable, and dug a hole in the dung of the mule. She buried the table cloth and the pot with the Eucharist inside.
When her husband returned home that evening, he noticed that the mule was acting more stubborn than usual. The animal did not want to go into the stable. Giacomo was used to a certain amount of obstinacy from the mule, but this was the worst the animal had ever behaved. Giacomo tried pushing the mule, and then slapping him, all to no avail. Finally he got a whip and began beating the animal. The pain being more than the mule could endure, he reluctantly stumbled into the barn. The animal fell prostrate near where the dung was located, almost in a position of adoration.
Giacomo never needed an excuse to be unkind to Ricciarella, but if he had, the incident with the mule provided him with perfect justification. He blamed her for the behavior of the mule, accusing her of putting some spell on the stable. He gave her a few cracks with the same whip which he had used on his beast.
For Ricciarella, this was the beginning of living Hell. She felt great pangs of conscience for her sin. She came to realize more and more the seriousness and consequences of her actions. She was also beginning to wonder just how powerful the witch was, by the way her husband was treating her. The desired results of her sin never materialized. If anything, their relationship got weaker, while the feelings of guilt and remorse grew stronger by the passing day.
Ricciarella lived with this situation for seven years. The torture she inflicted on herself was maddening. The way that her husband continued to treat her, she believed was a punishment by God. She lost all hope. She could not accept that she could ever be forgiven by God. The pain she felt was mostly for having committed such an inexcusable crime against a God who had never hurt her. Tales of the Good God, that her mother had told her when she was a child, echoed in her mind. She yearned to confess her sin, and relieve the burden of her heart and soul. But she didn’t have the courage to accept the shame she would inflict on herself, she thought, by confessing to a priest.
Finally, when she could no longer live with herself, or the self-inflicted pain she had suffered for seven years, Ricciarella contacted the prior of the local Augustinian monastery in Lanciano. This friar was a native ofOFFIDA, which will become important as our story unfolds. Ricciarella confessed her grave sin to the priest. He accompanied her back to her home. They went into the stable, and dug through the dung which had accumulated over the seven years. When the friar pulled the table cloth out, and uncovered it, he found that the contents of the pot, the bleeding Flesh and the Host, had remained incorrupt over the years.
From Bob and Penny Lord’s Book – Miracles of the E
ucharist Book I
14 Keys are required to open the Doors to view the Miracle of the Eucharist of Offida.
Watch Bob and Penny Lord describe the events of the Miracle as the Priest uses the 14 keys to open the doors
|As had become his custom, he prayed before the Mass for the grace which would give him faith. He prayed fervently to God. His prayer was the same. He begged for the faith to believe without any doubt that the gift we had been given at the Last Supper, that he had been given on the day of his ordination, was truly the Body of Christ. At the time of the Consecration of the Mass, he elevated the host high above his head, and said the words of consecration. As he said “THIS IS MY BODY”, the unleavened bread turned into Flesh, and began to bleed profusely. The blood fell onto the Corporal. The priest, shocked, and not knowing exactly what to do, wrapped the host in the Corporal, folded the Corporal, and left the Altar. As he left, drops of blood spilled on the marble floor in front of the altar.
What is the most important thing to be a Catholic today?
Family, since we appeared on EWTN’S Bookmark recently, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about what we’re supposed to believe in today. There’s a lot of confusion in our Church today. Our priests are bewildered; our Bishops are no less perplexed. Misinformation is coming our way daily, probably from the main stream media. Nevertheless it puts us everyday rank and file Catholics in a quandary.
There is only one thing we need to focus our lives on, and that is Jesus in the Eucharist. He comes to us in the Holy Mass. The greatest prayer we have is the Mass. All the promises Jesus made to us are confirmed in that one great prayer which too many of us take for granted.
Well, when you’re confounded by what you’re hearing that the Pope has said, or what Cardinal is resigning due to a scandal, or what priest is running a drug operation in his home town, just focus on what it is that makes you a Catholic. It’s Jesus in the Eucharist; Jesus in the Tabernacle; Jesus in your life.
I want to tell you a story. My precious wife Penny and I were invited to the installation of an Archbishop. He was a good friend of ours, as was his mother and most of his family. So when we got there, we were treated like royalty as long as we were with the family. We got front row seats at the various events that week. We got the first taxis, making priests and monsignors and bishops wait. It was great. We were scheduled to sit with the family at a table right next to all the hierarchy after the installation.
SO, the day of the Installation arrived. We had great seats in this huge auditorium. We were sitting with the family. Down on the stage area, two Cardinals were in attendance. Then about 50 high hats (Bishops) processed in. They were followed by close to 250 priests. It was a glorious celebration.
About then, the cousin of our friend the Archbishop-to-be became upset. She looked at the program where the new Archbishop made what we thought was a very loving statement to our Protestant brothers and sisters who might be there, telling them they could not receive Communion, as they were not in union with the Catholic Church. The cousin, an ex-nun, turned to Penny and said, “Isn’t that a disgrace what he’s written here? We’ll never get them back to the Church.” Whereupon my darling, in her best Brooklyn accent volleyed back, “What’s your problem? It’s in keeping with Church teaching.” At that point, the cousin’s mother, the aunt of the future Archbishop, spouted out, “Oh what’s the big deal? It’s only a symbol anyway.”
There was a moment of silence before Penny, filled with her Italian rage let the two of them have it. She said:
“Do you see those two Cardinals down there?
Do you see all those high hats (bishops)?
Do you see all those priests down there?
Well they could all get up and dance naked on the altar and I would still be a Catholic because JESUS IS NOT A SYMBOL. He is present to us in the Eucharist every day.”
She silently said to Jesus “I wish You had not made me say that. You know where we’re going to sit at the dinner.” And her prediction was true. Instead of sitting with the family, right next to all the bigwigs of the Church, we found ourselves right next to the kitchen door, getting banged every time it opened and closed.
You may think the moral of this is “No good deed goes unpunished.” I don’t think so. I believe the moral is that our Faith belief is very simple. It’s not complicated at all. It may not be easy; but it’s simple. Focus on the tabernacle. You have a friend there, a best friend. Talk to Him; He will listen. Don’t let outside forces influence you. And that goes for my revered priests, bishops and Cardinals. Keep your eyes on Jesus in the Eucharist. I didn’t say it would be easy. But it is simple
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This Is My Body, This Is My Blood: Miracles of the Eucharist
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The Miracle at Lanciano
The situation in the world did not help strengthen his faith. There were many heresies cropping up all the time, which kept chipping away at his faith. They were not all from outside the church either. Brother priests and bishops were victims of these heresies, and they were being spread throughout the church. This priest, being a very intelligent person, couldn’t help but be more and more convinced by the logic of these heresies, especially the one concerning his particular problem, the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Human logic has always been a great enemy of the soul, when we try to understand the Divine.
One morning, while he was having a strong attack of doubt, he began the Consecration of the Mass for the people of the town. He used the same size host which is used in the Latin Rite masses today. What he beheld as he consecrated the bread and wine caused his hands to shake, indeed his whole body. He stood for a long time with his back to the people, and then slowly turned around to them.
He said: “O fortunate witnesses to whom the Blessed God, to confound my disbelief, has wished to reveal Himself in this Most Blessed Sacrament and to render Himself visible to our eyes. Come, brethren, and marvel at our God so close to us. Behold the Flesh and Blood of our most beloved Christ.”
The host had turned into Flesh. The wine had turned into Blood.
The people, having witnessed the miracle for themselves, began to wail, asking for forgiveness, crying for mercy. Others began beating their breasts, confessing their sins, declaring themselves unworthy to witness such a miracle. Still others went down on their knees in respect, and thanksgiving for the gift the Lord had bestowed on them. All spread the story throughout the town, and surrounding villages.
Jesus even allowed Himself to be crucified again. After the miracle, the Host was pinned down to a wooden board, so that when it dried, it would not curl up, as scabbed flesh does. So here He was again, with nails in His Body, nailed to a piece of wood.
The miracle that occurred in 700 was just the beginning. That was 1250 years ago. Had that miracle taken place, and then the flesh and blood disintegrated, as would have been normal, the miracle would have been none the less a miracle. The priest’s faith had been renewed. The entire town, the whole country for that matter, became aware of the miracle. Pilgrims flocked to Lanciano to venerate the Host turned flesh. Belief in the Eucharist had been reborn. The gift from the Lord was complete.
But that’s not all. The Miracle is ongoing. The Host-turned- Flesh, and the wine-turned-Blood, without the use of any form of preservative, is still present in the reliquary. In 1574, testing was done on the Flesh and Blood. An unexplainable phenomenon was discovered with the Blood. The five pellets of coagulated Blood are different sizes and shapes. But any combination weighs the same as the total. In other words, 1 weighs the same as 2, 2 weigh the same as 3, and 3 weigh the same as 5.
From the very beginning, the local church accepted this miracle as a true sign from heaven, and venerated the Eucharistic Flesh and Blood in processions on its feast day, the last Sunday of October. The fame of the shrine spread throughout the region quickly, and soon all of Italy came to the Church in Pilgrimage.
Many writings authenticating the Eucharistic Miracle took place over the years. Because this has been such a important local miracle, the background and history of the events were carefully recorded.
There had been a manuscript written in both Greek and Latin, attesting to the Miracle. It was said to have been written and certified at the time of the Miracle. In a Chronology of the City of Lanciano, historian Fella wrote that in early 1500, two Basilian Monks came to the Church, which was now in the custody of the Franciscans, and asked to stay overnight. They also asked to see the parchment which told the story of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. The Franciscans allowed them to study the parchment overnight. But the next morning, the Basilian Monks left very early, before the Franciscans had awakened, and took the manuscripts with them. The motive, it was thought, was that the Basilian Monks were ashamed that one of their own had lost his faith in the Eucharist, and hoped that by stealing the original document attesting to the event, it might go away. The Church of the Miracle remained in the custody of the Monks of St. Basil, until 1176, when the Benedictines took over. However, the building had become very run down, and the Benedictines were not overly excited about taking care of it. The Franciscans, however, did want custodianship of the Shrine. When one of their benefactors, Bishop Landulfo, was made Bishop of Chieti, he gave them the Shrine to take care of. So, in 1252, the Benedictines left, and the Franciscans took over. What they were not aware of until they actually came to Lanciano, was that the church was a disaster. They surmised that this was why the Benedictines so easily turned it over to them. In 1258, the Franciscans built a new church on the site of the original Church of St. Legontian.
In 1515, Pope Leo X made Lanciano an episcopal See, directly responsible to Rome.
In 1562, Pope Pius IV wrote a Papal Bull raising it to an Archepiscopal See.
In 1666, the Franciscans found themselves in the middle of a legal battle with what was called the “Raccomandati”, or Select group of the town. Today’s Italians might call them “I Superbi”. They thought they were better than everyone else. The Raccomandati tried to take the church away from the Franciscans by laying claim to the ORIGINAL CHURCH of St. Legontian, upon which the Franciscan church was built. If they had won, they would have had both churches. But the Lord intervened through the high ranking Cardinal Giannetti, of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Religious, and the Franciscans won the case. You can be sure that they immediately applied for a deed, and 18 years later, in 1684, it was granted them. During Napoleon’s time, in 1809, the Franciscans were driven out of the town. But they returned in solemn triumph on June 21, 1953.
On June 25, 1672, Pope Clement X declared the altar of the Eucharistic Miracle a privileged altar on the Octave day of the deceased and on all Mondays of the year.
In 1887, the Archbishop of Lanciano, Monsignore Petarca, obtained from Pope Leo XIII, a Plenary Indulgence in perpetuity to those who venerate the Eucharistic Miracle during the 8 days preceding the feast day.
The Eucharistic Miracle was placed in different locations within the Church of St. Francis over the years. At one point, in 1566, the threat of the Turks became imminent along the Adriatic Coast. It was thought that Lanciano would be an easy target for them to invade. As a matter of security, the Eucharistic Miracle was taken from its chapel, and walled up on the other side of the Church. It got to a point, however, that the threat of the Turks became too much of a reality. On August 1 of that year, a Friar Giovanni Antonio di Mastro Renzo lost his faith, not in the Eucharist, but either in God’s ability, or God’s desire to save him and his little band of Franciscans from the onslaught of the Turks. Using the need to save the Eucharistic Miracle from the Infidels, he took the reliquary containing the Flesh and Blood, and himself and his friars, and fled the city. They walked all through the night. Just before dawn, Friar Giovanni felt they had put enough distance between them and the enemy, and ordered his friars to rest. As the sun came up, they found that they were back at the gates of the city.
Believing that the Lord had intervened, and that He wanted His Sacred Sign as an assurance to the people of the city of Lanciano that He had not abandoned them, the friars were filled with the Holy Spirit. They acquired the courage of lions. They vowed to remain in the Church, and protect the Eucharistic Miracle with their lives. As it turned out, the Lord kept them from harm, as well as the city of Lanciano, and the Eucharistic Miracle.
The Flesh and Blood were kept walled up until 1636, although the threat of the invading Turks had long since disappeared. At that time, the Eucharistic Miracle was transferred to the right side of the altar, encased in an iron tabernacle, behind iron doors. There were four keys to the vault, each held by different people in the town. This was called the Valsecca Chapel, in honor of the benefactor. The Miraculous Flesh and Blood were kept in this chapel until 1902. The faithful were only able to venerate the Eucharistic Miracle on special occasions, the Monday after Easter, and the last week in October, the week of the feast. The Plenary Indulgence was available to the people during the feast.
By 1902, it was determined that the Valsecca Chapel was inadequate for the Eucharistic Miracle. The people of Lanciano were hungry to be able to see Our Lord Jesus in the form of Flesh and Blood while they prayed to Him. Under the inspiration of the local bishop of Lanciano, Bishop Petrarca, a beautiful altar and new home for the Eucharistic Miracle was designed by a well known architect, Filippo Sergiacomo. That was a beautiful sign. But the real sign came from the people of Lanciano. They collected all the money needed for the new altar. During the month of the feast, five bishops from the Abruzzi region, with the Franciscans, and pilgrims from all over, solemnly dedicated the new altar.
Lanciano was selected as the site for the First Eucharistic Congress for the region of Abruzzi on September 23-25, 1921.
We bring our pilgrims to this shrine many times each year. Upon entering the church, our attention is immediately focused on the unusual altar. There are two tabernacles, rather than the traditional one. The second tabernacle is on top of the first. Continuing down the aisle toward the main altar, we see a large tablet on the wall, dating back to 1574, which tells the story of the Eucharistic Miracle.
Further on the right of the main altar is a painting of the Eucharistic Miracle. The painting opens out from the wall, revealing a set of doors, behind which is hidden an old iron tabernacle. This is the Valsecca Chapel, and was the home of the Eucharistic Miracle from 1636 until 1902, when the present altar was built.
We walk to the back of the main altar, where there is a stairway leading up to the second tabernacle, to the Eucharistic Miracle. A priest from the church dresses in vestments worn for the celebration of Holy Mass, and leads us to the top of the stairway. The Monstrance and the Miracle are before our eyes. We are allowed to ascend in groups of five. The priest puts a flashlight in back of the Host turned Flesh. This is an actual heart muscle. With the light in the background, the fibers of the heart can be seen. The chalice which holds the Blood is believed to be the same one into which the Blood was placed after the miracle, and possibly the actual chalice which was used for the Mass when the Miracle took place. The Host has turned light brown over the years. When the priest puts the light in back of It, It appears rose colored. The Blood gives off an ochre appearance.