One of the most recently recognised miracles of the Eucharist took place in Buenos Aires, Capital of Argentina in 1996, and this time it involves someone the world has come to love dearly, our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis.
To appreciate fully the extraordinary nature of the miracle that took place in Buenos Aires, the following information is important to understand before we explore this out miracle.
Because of such great advances in forensic sciences today, it is now possible to examine and analyse with total and accurate scientific precision any material, including that from a human body.
As the details of this wonder miracle unfold, it would be great if you young people try to think and discern like clever young medical scientists.
Do not worry! You can do it! We believe in you and so does Jesus.
Q1. Is this miracle very different to the other ones we have heard about?
A1. It compares well to the Miracle at Lanciano. However, there are differences as well as amazing similarities, and we would like you to think about these when you have heard the entire story.
The story of the miracle unfolds like this. In August, 1996, a woman saw a Sacred Host left in a candle holder at the back of the church. She informed the priest, Fr. Alejandro Pezet, who was finishing the celebration of Holy Mass. He went to where the Host was and, because it was dirty he did not consume it. Instead, he put it carefully into a bowl of water and placed it into the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Church.
Q2. Did he just leave it there and for how long?
A2. Eight days later, Fr. Alejandro went to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to meditate on a letter to do with the 750th Anniversary celebrations on the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), in Belgium.
When he went to the tabernacle he saw, to his amazement, that the Host he had put in the bowl of water had changed to a blood-red substance. He then informed his Bishop, Bishop Jorge Bergolio who is now Pope Francis, who requested to have professional photographs taken. This was done on 26th August and again eleven days later to check if the Sacred Host had changed further. The photographs showed that it had, in fact, grown substantially in size and that it had become by now a piece of bloodied flesh.
The Host was then left in the tabernacle for several more years and the story of what had happened to it was kept a very strict secret.
In all that time there was no sign of decay or rot in the quality of the Host – something that would happen to any ordinary piece of bread we would have at home – and in view of this fact, the Bishop who was by now Archbishop Bergolio, decided to have the matter scientifically investigated.
Archbishop Bergolio requested Professor Doctor Ricardo Castanon to begin the investigation.
Q3. How could Dr. Ricardo do this? Did he have help?
A3. What he did was this. In the presence of representatives of the Archbishop, he removed a small sample piece of the Host as well as the blood liquid and placed them in a sealed test tube. One of those who witnessed him do this was an Australian lawyer called Ron Tesoriero and his journalist friend called Mike Willesee. On behalf of the Archbishop, the content of the test tube was brought by these two men to a well-known forensic pathologist and cardiologist (ie., a heart specialist), in New York for analysis and both of them witnessed the tests being carried out.
Dr. Ricardo gave the specialist absolutely no information about the source of the sample as he did not want to prejudice the process.
Q4. What do you think were the results of the test by Dr. Zugibe, the scientific analyst were?
A4. Actually, they were truly astounding. This is where you clever young future scientists will be amazed at the gift that science is to the world!
Remember, Dr. Ricardo had removed a small piece of the Host that had changed after being placed in the water. We know it had begun to change in shape and size and colour, so listen in amazement to the results of the scientific analysis.
Here is what Dr. Zugibe, forensic pathologist and heart specialist saw under the microscope, and remember he had no idea from where or what this sample came:
- His first statement of what he saw was that the sample was tissue from a human person – it was real flesh and blood containing human DNA.
- He was looking at tissue from a human heart muscle, and specifically it was from the left ventricle of the heart that pumps the blood round the body
- He saw a large number of white blood cells in the heart muscle which happens when a person is severely beaten in the chest area.
- These white cells were all undamaged. They can only live if fed by a living body.
The evidence also shows, and this is the analysis of the expert, that the person from whom the sample was taken was alive at the moment the sample tissue was taken.
Isn’t this astonishing information?
Now, that the forensic analysis was complete, it was the turn of the Australian lawyer and journalist who witnessed the tests to tell the forensic expert the truth about the sample he had just analysed.
Q5. How did they actually tell him and was he able to believe what they said?
A5. They approached it in a very gentle way. They were so dumbfounded by the testimony they had just received from the Dr. Zugibe that they needed to clarify a few points first. One of them asked him how long white blood cells would remain alive if they had come from a piece of human tissue that had been left in water? He replied that they would dissolve in minutes and would no longer exist. Then Mike informed him that this tissue had been in tap water for a month and then in distilled water for three years. The Doctor was at a loss to account for this fact and he stated that science could not explain how this could be.
Finally, he was asked what he would say if he knew the source of the sample was a piece of wheaten bread, a consecrated Host that had turned mysteriously into bloodied human flesh? The doctor was truly amazed and he replied, “How and why a Communion Host would change its character and become living human flesh and blood will remain an inexplicable mystery to science- a mystery totally beyond her competence.”
Q6. So, science doesn’t have all the answers to life’s questions?
A6. We can answer that question in this, our sum up of the Miracle in Buenos Aires.
We can conclude from the above analyses that what Jesus Christ tells us in the Scriptures is true; when a host is consecrated by His priest during Holy Mass it really and truly becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The scientific analysis proves to us that the Host became real flesh and blood.
We can recall here the analysis done on the Flesh and Blood at Lanciano, and we can see how it is also from the same person, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.