Maybe you've heard of this one, especially since it took place in the region overseen by then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis.
There's an image on the web page, but you can find more doing a search on Google.
This tissue, along with a sample from the Eucharistic miracle from Lanciano (8th C.) contains the blood type AB+, which is also the same type from blood samples taken from the Shroud of Turin.
I have mixed feelings about this sort of phenomenon. For one thing, it tends to view the Eucharistic Species with a literalism that would seemingly lead to the charge that Catholics engage in cannibalism. We do indeed proclaim that the we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, and the doctrine of Transubstantiation emphasizes this. But the Flesh and Blood are that of the risen Christ, who communes Himself to us without changing the substance of the bread and wine. The Eucharistic miracles entail a change in the substance of bread and wine and present literal flesh and blood. Some Catholic bloggers are really harping on this point:
I'm not doubting that the Lord could accomplish such miracles, and I have no explanation for the phenomena reported. It seems the scientists have have examined the evidence and concurred in their conclusions.
Some bloggers find it curious that Pope Francis hasn't said much about this miracle, and wonder if it's a hoax.
What do you think?
Phil,I'm confused??? What do you mean by "substance"? I thought it is precisely our belief that the substance of bread and wine are changed while only the accidents remain the same?? Indeed that is what transubstantiation means, not so? We don't believe that bread and wine remain at all except by appearance only or accident. I believe it is the Lutherans who believe in Jesus + bread and wine, (consubstantiation or something) while other protestants deny the real presence entirely. We, on the other hand, don't believe there is either bread or wine at all after the consecration: Only Jesus.
St. Rubia, see http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-meta/#H4 for a clarification on Substance and Accident. Prior to Consecration, the bread and wine are substances; afterwards, their appearance is considered an accidental manifestation of the Substance of Christ's Body and Blood.
In light of this understanding, I should not have used the term "substance" in reference to the Eucharistic bread. The correct term would have been "species."
My main point, however, was that Eucharist is a communing in the risen body of Christ.
Eucharistic miracles such as the one described above do not seem to point to risen life so much as to the kind of physical life one has this side of the grave, complete with white blood cells and all.
I understand the message of the miracles, however -- Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. I'm just not understanding why the message seems to exist in such tension with what we actually believe is going on. E.g., does the risen Christ still have white blood cells? I kinda doubt it.
Well, if we stick to Thomas' formulation - change of substance, accidents unchanging - there seems to be a little confusion here. The problem is that, as far as I understand Aristotle and Thomas, if the essence of the bread changes into the Body of the Lord, but all accidents belonging to the bread remain, there is nothing physical or material that can tell us that it is in fact a heart muscle. I guess this is what makes Phil uncomfortable. No DNA test could get to the essence (metaphysical) of any being - biology is accidents, physics, chemistry - they all touch only accidents. The essence is perceived, according to aristotelianism/thomism, only by human intellect on the basis of accidents. Here, of course, intellect perceives the transmuted essence on the basis of faith, against sensible data (like in the hymn of Thomas: "vision, touch, taste are mistaken in you"). But if the senses are necessarily mistaken with regard to the holy communion, there is no biological or chemical test that can tell us that it is human body, not bread. All that stands for "human body", apart from the hidden, non-sensible substance, is not there. That is why I also have a problem with mystics tasting human flesh when they received communion or eucharistic miracles.
The only solution, for me, is that it is a kind of a sign for people who cannot understand theologically what is going on and need some more "gross" confirmation. Most Christians don't even know what the essence and the accidents are, so for them Eucharistic miracles may give some support to the faith that it is really Christ's Body. Just as for some mystics the taste of meat in mouth was a sign that they really partake in Christ's body.
But we should remember that those miracles and other signs are of a lesser order than dogmas of faith. In Middle Ages there was a German mystic who was very devout to the Feast of Circumcision of Jesus and she had ecstatic visions in which she felt like she was swallowing the foreskin of Jesus. once she experienced this swallowing a couple of dozens of times during one prayer. It was blissful, sweet etc. For Mediaeval sensitivity the devotion to Jesus' foreskin was quite common, but for our sensitivity it is somehow weird (for mine, at least...). Those kind of things seem to be culturally embedded experiences of God, which can be helpful for personal faith, but cannot be taken as substantial for the faith.
I wonder what those scientific tests were really about. If they discovered that it was the heart muscle, it was probably on the basis of the structure of tissue? the type of cells? Anyway, the structure of the tissue is in metaphysics accidents, not essence. That is my opinion, since Aristotle or Thomas didn't know of the existence of the cells or DNA, so for them accidents were just color, shape, texture, smell etc. But if you test cells, you also encounter color, shape, texture, just in a smaller scale.
That is a very weird mystic who tastes Christ's foreskin. Didn't Christ have that removed as a baby? And WHY would anyone "taste" any particular body part,especially the reproductive organs? What possible symbolism could there be in that? If she tasted his heart,I might be somewhat inclined to believe her experience, but foreskin? Come on. That sounds rather Freudian to me. With due respect, I do NOT accept that German mystic's experience as authentic. I think she imagined stuff.
The accidents are left there deliberately, so that we TASTE human food (bread and wine) and even physically PROCESS human food, while we RECEIVE the person of Christ, whole and entire, into the depths of our souls. The manner of reception is as food, only Christ knows why he chose that, but it is not to nourish our bodies, so much as it is to nourish our souls by increasing the divine life of charity/union present there by baptism that we take the Eucharist. This is why I think it cannot be called cannibalism, because we do "EAT" and "DRINK" Jesus, but without actually eating him physically. Our bodies don't get to process his flesh like it does when we eat chicken. We dont break him down into digestible bits and protein and what have you. We receive him wholly as he is and he remains in us as a whole. To enhance the union/divine charity in the soul.
As to Eucharistic miracles, I believe the Orthodox take them as signs of unbelief of the PRIEST at the consecration or sometimes, of the congregation. Hence,it is not exactly a cause of "celebration" as in a regular miracle, so much as a sort of divine rebuke to either that priest (mostly) or the members of his congregation.
The mystic was Agnes Blannbekin
During services and prayers Blannbekin began to hear voices which explained spiritual mysteries. Her visions were transcribed by the Franciscan monk Ermenrich, her confessor. Although not all of her revelations were considered obscene, they included visions of monks, woman, and Jesus naked. In one vision, she claimed to have felt the foreskin of Jesus in her mouth:Crying and with compassion, she began to think about the foreskin of Christ, where it may be located [after the Resurrection]. And behold, soon she felt with the greatest sweetness on her tongue a little piece of skin alike the skin in an egg, which she swallowed. After she had swallowed it, she again felt the little skin on her tongue with sweetness as before, and again she swallowed it. And this happened to her about a hundred times. And when she felt it so frequently, she was tempted to touch it with her finger. And when she wanted to do so, that little skin went down her throat on its own. And it was told to her that the foreskin was resurrected with the Lord on the day of resurrection. And so great was the sweetness of tasting that little skin that she felt in all [her] limbs and parts of the limbs a sweet transformation.Blannbekin described herself as continually beset with visions throughout the day, which she described as imber lacrimarum, or a "rain of tears" from God. Many of these visions involved bright lights, and in one she described being "so filled with light within that she could gaze at herself." As with the foreskin occasion, many of her visions involved touch, such as being kissed on the cheeks by the Lamb of God. While eating the Eucharist, Blannbekin claimed to taste Christ; on one occasion, a sexually immoral priest could not find his Eucharist, which Blannbekin claimed to have felt in her own mouth.Similarly, she described drinking a "refreshing spiritual drink" from the spear wound of Jesus. Supposed visitations from Jesus himself caused an orgastic reaction: "Agnes herself was filled with an excitement in her chest every time that God visited her that was so intense that it went through her body and that it burned as a result, not in a painful but in a most pleasurable manner."Blannbekin died in Vienna, Austria on March 1, 1315 in her convent.
But you see how silly this can get? If the foreskin of Jesus was supposedly resurrected, then what of all the fingernails and hair and skin cells he shed through the years? Technically, those are no longer part of one's body after they are removed, as the body is living and they are dead. But it does, perhaps, say something about the power of mystical imagination.
Perhaps that is it, Mt, and your point about most Christians not understanding the distinction between essence and accident is a good one. The Church since Vatican II moved away from Thomism, and so these kinds of distinctions (which were never easy to grasp in the first place) aren't in the forefront of anyone's mind. I saw a survey recently that most Catholics do believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, but I'm not sure how they'd explain it. Perhaps C. S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, "The Lord said to take and eat, not take and understand."
Left hanging in all this is what to make of Cardinal Bergoglio's (Pope Francis) role in the Eucharistic miracle of Buenos Aires. I wonder what he thinks about it?
If what is being asserted is really true -- that living heart tissue grew from a consecrated host -- then this ought to be on the front page of every paper in the world for days, with extensive study of the phenomenon, including by theologians, who would be challenged to explain what this is implying about the Eucharist.
Yes, it is a "hoax" if taken literally, IMHO. It cannot have happened literally, since that is not possible. That claimed, what does it signify? It means that the Eucharistic host is the broken body, indeed the broken heart of the crucified one. By extension, the circumcision of Jesus was a type, a symbolic foreshadowing, of the cross.
That would be a good definition of a miracle, right?
I think the significance you mention makes sense, and is probably supposed to be the point of it all.
"You could say that."
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