Purging Doubt

“Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” – John 20:27

The city of Lanciano, founded long before Christianity, was first called Anxanum. Its present name recalls the “Lancia” (lance in Italian) that pierced the heart of Our Lord on the Cross. According to an ancient tradition, Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced, with a lance, the side of Christ already dead, came originally from Lanciano. He had poor vision, but regained his sight after touching his eyes with his hand dripping with the Blood of Jesus. In consequence of this, he became a convert and died a martyr.

One day in the eighth century, in the church dedicated to Saints Legontian and Domitian in Lanciano, a Basilian monk was celebrating Holy Mass in the Latin rite, with a host of unleavened bread. The monk started doubting the real and substantial presence of the Flesh and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the consecrated Holy Species. After having pronounced the words of Consecration (“This is My Body… This is My Blood”), as Jesus had taught it to His Apostles, the monk saw the host change into a living piece of Flesh, and the wine change into real blood,

The following excerpts are qouted from a document kept at Lanciano:

Frightened and confused by so great and so stupendous a miracle, he stood quite a while as if transported in a divine ecstasy; but finally, as fear yielded to the spiritual joy which filled his soul with a happy face, even though bathed with tears, having turned to the bystanders, he thus spoke to them: `O fortunate witnesses to whom the Blessed God, to counfound my unbelief, 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 the Blood of our Most Beloved Christ.’

At these words, the eager people ran with devout haste to the altar and, completely terrified, began, not without copious tears, to cry for mercy.

The Host-Flesh, as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large host used today in the Latin church; it is light brown and appears rose-colored when lighted from the back. The Blood is coagulated and has an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre. Now, here is something even more amazing: the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is really and totally present in either the whole consecrated host or a fragment of it, and the same applies for the consecrated wine, which, once consecrated, has become the Blood of Christ. The five globules contained in the reliquary, when weighed either separately or together, totaled the same weight: 15.85 grams. – [VCatholic.com]

  • The following research provided was published on the “Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association” website. 

In 1970-’71 and taken up again partly in 1981 there took place a scientific investigation by the most illustrious scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.

The analyses were conducted with absolute and unquestionable scientific precision and they were documented with a series of microscopic photographs.
These analyses sustained the following conclusions:

  • The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood.
  • The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  • The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
  • In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
  • The Flesh is a “HEART” complete in its essential structure.
  • The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin).
  • In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  • In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
  • The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.

Many have difficulty with the idea that Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist and consecrated Divine Blood. During His mission on earth many disciples left Him when He said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not enter heaven.” They did not understand the concept of transubstantiation in the consecration of the bread and wine at Mass that would be so defined at the Council of Trent and further validated by Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The miracle of Lanciano and the research conducted validating its reality serves to alleviate doubt, but not purge it. Purging takes place, as with Saint Thomas, when empirical data is married to faith. For despite concrete evidence, it is still beyond any human ability and experience to fathom that the species of bread and wine, when consecrated, can become human substance. But, Christ tells us Himself, as with all things; what is impossible for man is not so for God. In believing the incredible, the impossible is accomplished.

And Thomas, the doubter, after removing his finger from the scarred hands and his hand from the pierced side of the risen Christ, who now stood before him, could utter no other words but these; “My Lord and my God.”



About Alan A. Malizia: Contagious Optimism! Co-Author

Retired mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. Honors: 1988 Ct. Coach of the Year for H.S. Girls Voleyball and 2007 Inducted into the Ct. Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame. Since retiring have written two books; "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about my life experience as a polio survivor and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of poems and reflections. Presently I am a contributing author for the "Life Carrots" series primarily authored by Dave Mezzapelle of Goliathjobs.com.
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