Eucharistic Miracles, by Father Lukas Etlin, O.S.B.

Eucharistic MiraclesGod with Us in the Blessed Sacrament

God is with us in the Blessed Sacrament, and if we fail to realize this when on our knees before the altar, something is wanting in our faith. God’s Heart is here to love, God’s eyes are here to see. The Blessed Sacrament is the Fountain from which all His favors flow.


Herman Cohen, a convert, who as a discalced Carmelite received the name of Father Augustine Maria of the Blessed Sacrament, and who died in Spain in the year 1817, was once asked: “Are you happy?” “Happy!” he exclaimed with a radiant countenance, “I traveled over the whole earth in order to become so, but found it yields no happiness. I crossed the seas in order to find happiness. In nature and in the theatre, at splendid banquets and in the most distinguished company, everywhere have I sought happiness; where have I not sought it? – yet all in vain. But now I possess it. Yes, I am happy, perfectly happy; and do you wish to know where I find true happiness? At the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacra- ment.” The truth of this experience is confirmed by spiritual writers of every age. In the beautiful words of the great Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, we are assured that: “There is nothing more consoling at the hour of death than the moments we have spent before the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

Our Divine Savior Jesus Christ is truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist with His Divinity and Humanity. In our tabernacles and upon our altars He has raised His throne, and He invites all to come to Him to be consoled, refreshed and healed.

Only once during His mortal life did our blessed Lord allow His glory to appear, and then only in part, for a short time, and to but three of His disciples, at His transfiguration on Mt. Thabor. His entire glory He will not reveal to us until we enter heaven. In the Sacred Host He conceals His glory with the veil of the Sacramental Species; for we would die were we to see Him as He is, and it is through incomprehensible love for us that He here hides both His Humanity and Divinity. But in order to strengthen the faith of His people, to show His special love, or to call them to repentance, Our Lord has from time to time withdrawn the veil which shrouds His Sacred Person beneath the Sacramental Species.

It must be noted however that miracles not contained in Holy Scripture, are not articles of faith, and possess merely human authenticity, that is to say, are to be believed only when proved by trustworthy witnesses. It is hoped, therefore, that the wonderful incidents recounted in this booklet will strengthen faith in the Blessed Sacrament and increase love for the Divine Mystery on our altars.

Eucharistic Miracles

The Forgotten Host

Most trustworthy authority, who heard every detail from the lips of the priest himself, has given the account of the following incident which took place near Albany, New York.

In the pioneering days of the past century a priest was hastily summoned to the bedside of a dying man who lived at a considerable distance from the church. He at once set out on horseback, carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a pyx suspended from his neck. However, after making his way for several miles along one of the worst of roads in a heavy storm of wind and rain, his horse could go no farther, and the priest was forced to stop at an inn by the roadside. Here he found a messenger who had been sent to tell him that the sick man had rallied unexpectedly, and, although still seriously ill, was no longer in imminent danger of death. Relieved by this news from the necessity of pursuing his journey that night, the priest, after having carefully placed the pyx containing the Blessed Sacrament in a drawer, retired.

He slept soundly after his fatiguing ride, and at a very early hour the next day remounted his horse and resumed his journey. He had nearly arrived at his destination, when he suddenly remembered to his dismay that he had come away with- out the Blessed Sacrament! When the thought first struck him he almost reeled from the saddle, overwhelmed with shame and alarm, for there were none but unbe- lievers in the inn. Then, turning around, he put spurs to his horse and in spite of the bad weather, rode back at full speed to the inn where he had lodged the previous night.

The instant he reached the door, he sprang from his horse, hastened into the house, and calling for the landlord, in- quired anxiously whether anyone had gone into the bedroom where he had slept.

“I must ask you, sir,” the man replied, “what have you done to that room? We cannot get into it by any means. Not one of us can force the door open, though the key is in the lock. And what is more, if one looks through the keyhole the whole room seems lighted up.”

With an indescribable feeling of relief the priest ran up the stairs, followed by the landlord, his wife, all the servants, and a few strangers, whom curiosity had drawn there. Turning the knob of the door, he opened it without the slightest difficulty, and entering, prostrated himself in lowly self-abasement before the chest, which served as a tabernacle for the Lord of heaven and earth. Then, rising, he took the pyx from its hiding place, and holding it up in the sight of the astonished people who filled the humble chamber, now transformed into a chapel, he began to expound the doctrine of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist with unwonted eloquence. Emotion gave force to his words, and when he concluded by declaring those to be fortunate, indeed, and greatly to be envied, in whose house God had been pleased to work a wonder so striking, all present fell upon their knees and expressed their wish to be received into the Catholic Church. The priest remained there several days, during which time he instructed them, baptized them and admitted the whole household, besides some other persons, into the Church. When he had completed the journey that had been thus singularly interrupted by the merciful Providence of God, he found the sick man to whom he had been called, in a state of convalescence.

Apparition of the Divine Child

In 1828, during the octave of Corpus Christi, June 12th, 13th, and 14th, there occurred at Hartmansweiler, France, a marvelous apparition of the Divine Child. The apparition took place during Benediction, at eight o’clock in the evening, and was witnessed by six hundred persons of every age and class, who declared themselves ready to testify under oath to its truth. The learned and zealous Father Willig, pastor of Hartmansweiler at the time, on each of these three evenings exposed the Sacred Host in the monstrance, and to the amazement of those privileged to behold Him, the Divine Child became clearly visible in the Host. The face of the Heavenly Child was exceedingly beautiful, and His eyes seemed to move and look lovingly at everybody present. Each time there went forth from the monstrance a light which grew brighter every evening, being the brightest on Saturday evening. The acolytes who knelt on the altar steps beheld the apparition the first evening, as did also some other children. On their way home, they remarked to one another, “Oh, what a beautiful face there was in the monstrance!”

The second evening the apparition was visible to the pastor, Father Willig, to the sacristan, the acolytes and many secular persons. On this occasion the pastor permitted a number of men as witnesses to mount the altar steps. All were deeply moved and exclaimed, “What an exquisitely beautiful countenance!” The vision was likewise seen by some persons in the nave and in the choir.

The third evening, Saturday, June 14th, the apparition was visible to every person in the church, even those who were farthest from the altar being able to see distinctly the exceedingly kind and loving features of the Divine Child. The arms of the Divine Child were crossed upon His breast. A great number of conversions took place after the apparition, and many who saw it made a general confession of their whole life. The fact that this apparition took place at a time when special homage was being shown to the Blessed Sacrament teaches that it is most pleasing and agreeable to Our Lord to receive visits of love and adoration; and that He looks upon all those who visit and adore Him with the utmost kindness and love as was shown in His face.

Moreover, we learn that He is present in the Sacred Host not as a severe judge, but mild and gentle as a child, for which reason He appeared in the form of a child. The brightness which increased every evening would seem to indicate that He increases His graces every time we visit Him.

Realizing this, can we henceforth neglect to visit Him often, even though it be at the cost of painful sacrifices?

The Devils Believe and Tremble

Father Deliro, a celebrated Jesuit, relates the following incident: In 1617, a woman living in the city of Cambrai, France, was possessed by the devil. The dean of the city, a pious and learned priest, made use of the exorcisms of the Church, but for a long time met with no success; the devil scoffed at all his efforts. One day the priest went to the possessed person immediately after Holy Mass, in order to begin a new exorcism. The devil cried out to him from afar: “Thou art very strong today on account of the Bread which thou hast just eaten at the altar.”

“No quibbling or evasions,” answered the priest; “if what I have eaten today in Holy Communion is but common bread, then my voice shall be without power and authority against thee, but if, as I believe with my whole soul, it is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, then I command thee in His Name to leave the woman instantly.” At the same moment the devil uttered a frightful cry and left the woman, to return no more.

In 1566, the devil showed still more strikingly his faith in the Blessed Sacrament and his dread thereof. The occurrence was witnessed at Laon, France, by more than 150,000 persons, among them a great number of pilgrims and magistrates and thousands of Protestants, many of whom were converted to the Catholic Faith. By order of Pope Saint Pius V, the learned Father John de Boulese drew up a special document relating to the facts, which are as follows: –

A woman by the name of Nicola Pierrot was possessed by the devil in such a manner that she suddenly became blind, deaf and dumb, and her limbs became horribly distorted. The exorcisms only served to ascertain that she was possessed by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, but could not free her from his power. At length the bishop approached her with the Sacred Host, whereupon the devil uttered a horrible bellowing which made all shudder. The evil spirit left the woman repeatedly, but returned as soon as the Sacred Host was removed. Repeatedly he withdrew amid fearful howling, writhing and struggling as soon as the Sacred Host was again brought near.

Being commanded by the bishop, the demon furiously confessed: “I acknowledge that here is truly the Son of God. He is my Lord. It pains me to confess it, but I am compelled to do so; yes, I will be obliged through the power of this Body to depart from hence.” And the devil finally did depart, to return no more, at three o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday, the day and hour when Our Lord triumphed over hell and Satan on the Cross. The woman was then perfectly cured.

The Miracle of Turin

In 1453 a church in Isiglo, Italy, was robbed. Among the things stolen was a precious monstrance which still contained the Sacred Host. The monstrance was placed in a large sack on a donkey which carried the booty of the robbers. Some days later, as the thieves were passing through the streets of Turin with their spoil, the animal suddenly grew stubborn and in spite of severe beatings could not be forced to go on. The cords which held the load on the animal’s back presently broke of themselves, causing the sack to open and the monstrance to appear. Then, to the astonishment of the many spectators, it rose on high, and remained miraculously suspended in the air.

The news of this wonderful event spread quickly throughout the city. The bishop appeared with the chapter of his cathedral and the clergy of the city. But behold, a new prodigy! The Sacred Host left the lunula in which It was enclosed, and the monstrance lowered itself to the ground, while the Sacred Host remained immovable in the air, where It shone like the sun and sent forth rays of dazzling splendor in all directions. The astonished multitude loudly expressed their joy and admiration, prostrating themselves and weeping as they adored the Divine Savior, who displayed His glory in such a visible manner. The bishop, likewise on his knees, held aloft a chalice and implored Our Lord to descend into it. Thereupon the Sacred Host slowly descended and was carried to the church of Saint John amid the indescribable exultation of the people.

The city of Turin in Piedmont, Italy, later had a church built on the spot where the miracle took place. In the 15th century this church was transformed into a grand basilica, which still exists as the Church of Corpus Christi.

The Veil of the Sacred Host Is Lifted

In 1718 the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in the convent church of the Cordeliers in Marseilles, France, for Forty Hours’ Devotion. Many devout persons were assisting at the Divine service. Suddenly the Sacramental Species disappeared and the people beheld the King of glory in person. His countenance shone with great splendor; His look was at once severe and gentle, so that no one could bear to meet His gaze. The people were motionless with fear, for they realized that this apparition was a warning to amend their lives. Bishop Belsune had more than sixty persons testify to this apparition under oath. At the same time it was revealed to two saintly persons that Our Lord would soon visit the city with a terrible punishment if it were not converted. After two years, a pestilence really did break out and carried off a great many of the inhabitants.

The Bloodstained Corporal of Walldueren

In the year 1330, during the pontificate of Pope John XXII, a priest named Henry Otto, who had lost faith in the transubstantiation of the wine into the Blood of Christ, had the misfortune to upset the chalice after the consecration, while celebrating Holy Mass in the Church of Saint Gregory in Walldueren, Baden, Germany. The priest was overcome with fright, and his fright grew to horror when bloody marks appeared on the corporal. Trembling with fear, he concealed the blood-stained corporal beneath the altar stone. This wonderful manifestation would probably have remained a secret forever had not God decreed to make it known in order to strengthen the faith of many Christians. The priest was later afflicted with a serious illness, brought on by worry and depression because of this accident. Before his death he manifested to his confessor the miraculous happenings connected with the overturned chalice. He begged the confessor to take the corporal from its hiding place and expose it for public veneration, that God-loving souls might be strengthened in their faith, and be encouraged to meditate lovingly on the Passion of our Savior during Holy Mass.

The spectacle presented by the corporal was indeed a moving one. In the center was the image of Jesus Crucified, and around it were eleven images of His thorn-crowned head. These images were so artistic and lovely that no artist could have painted them more beautifully. The report of this miracle was soon spread far and wide. The corporal was exposed for public veneration, and the people hastened from all directions to show their homage to their Savior. Their faith and confidence were rewarded by God with many miracles.

Seventy years afterwards, under Bishop Gebhard of Wuerzburg, the wonderful events concerning the bloodstained corporal were legally examined. During the reign of Pope Eugene IV, in 1445, the corporal was sent to Rome. The Holy Father was so touched at sight of this miraculous corporal, that he not only approved the miracle, but granted a plenary indulgence to all who should visit the church of Walldueren and receive the sacraments. A church was built at Wall- dueren to receive the corporal after its return from Rome. In this holy place, many sinners who had previously concealed their crimes received the grace of making a sincere confession.

The Sacred Host in Fire

Alphonse Villegas, a pious author of the sixteenth century, relates the following in his work entitled Flos Sanctorum: A heretic in Burgos, Spain, who because of the severe laws kept his false views secret, received Holy Communion with the rest of the faithful on Easter, 1582, merely for the sake of appearances. Immediately after receiving, he secretly removed the Host from his mouth and went home; there he took the Sacred Host and repeatedly threw It into the fire. The flames however did not even singe the Sacred Particle. Instead, drops of blood appeared on It. The heretic, horrified at this sight, ceased his profanation, and carefully preserved the Host in a piece of paper.

The following year he again received Holy Communion, but only to abuse the Sacred Species as before. The same miracle took place as in the preceding year. But this time grace conquered. The heretic perceived the truth of the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence, repented of his crime and renounced his errors. He took the two Hosts, still covered with blood, to the monastery of the Augustinians, but behold, when he reached the place it was found that one had taken the shape of a heart, the other, the form of a lamb. By this Our Lord wished to show that the love of His Heart and His meekness are so great that not even contempt and outrage can overcome them. Moreover, we see the ardent desire He has for the salvation and eternal happiness of His persecutors even while they insult Him.

Villegas, the narrator of this incident, testifies that he himself saw the two Sacred Hosts under these forms four years after the occurrence of the above events.

Jesus Forgotten in His Sanctuary

In the historical records of Brussels may be read an account of some miraculous Hosts, the substance of which is as follows:

During November, 1431, a devout weaver, named John, was praying before the Blessed Sacrament. Sadness filled the good man’s soul as he reflected on the abandonment of Our Lord in the tabernacle. Suddenly he felt himself suffused by a wonderful light, which struck fear into his soul but at the same time filled him with inexpressible delight. Then he heard a mournful voice saying: “My son, behold the sanctuary in which every living creature ought justly to offer Me adoration and supplications; but instead of this, they leave Me here in forgetfulness and neglect, far from the eyes and hearts of men. Be assured, however, that I will glorify and deliver from all tribulations, all those who shall call upon Me here.”

The good weaver feared he would be looked upon as a visionary and a fanatic if he disclosed his secret, so he remained silent. The apparition was repeated several times, and at length he was threatened with sickness and death if he continued in his refusal. Still John did not venture to break silence; he lost sleep and appetite and was reduced to a skeleton. Finally he ventured to reveal the secret to his confessor, the Rev. Koofemans, parish priest of Saint Gudula. After he had made known the apparition, he was suddenly cured.

The priest informed the Vicar General of Cambria, John of Liedekerks. An assembly of learned theologians was called, and John, the weaver, related the visions with so much frankness and candor that all were moved to tears. Their emotion was extreme when the parish priest of Saint Gudula, a most serious man, confirmed the young man’s recital by declaring: “A few days ago, while I was celebrating Holy Mass, I saw, at the moment of Communion, the Sacred Host take the form of an infant of dazzling beauty. The Heavenly Child spoke these words: ‘See that thou announce to the people all that this youth has told thee, because it is the pure truth.'”

Wonderful Host in the Escorial in Spain

In 1563, Philip II of Spain founded a convent in the Escorial, in which is preserved a Sacred Host now more than three hundred years old. Many documents and books about the Sacred Host are still extant. Its history, extracted from an account by Dom Quevedo, is briefly as follows –

When the Calvinists devastated the Netherlands, plundering and destroying church after church, they came also to Grocum in Holland, where, as it is well known, they tortured the monks most cruelly and put them to death. In the cathedral they seized the ciborium, threw the Sacred Hosts upon the floor and trampled upon Them. One Host (the one still preserved in the Escorial) showed the print of shoe nails in three places, from which blood flowed. On seeing this, one of the instiga- tors was seized with fright, and filled with reverence and contrition. He stooped to pick up the Sacred Host, but a sudden trembling and a mysterious power hindered him. Beside himself with fear, he left the church and related all that had happened to the dean, the Rev. John van der Delft.

The dean, in company with the now converted Calvinist, went with great caution to the church and gathered up the Sacred Hosts from the floor. They then fled from Grocum to Malines, where they deposited their Treasure in a Franciscan monastery. Here the Protestant abjured his errors and entered the Order, determined to perform a life-long penance for his sacrilegious act.

On account of the unrest caused by the war, Malines, too, was threatened. Moreover, the Calvinists wished, at any price, to get into their possession the miraculous Host, the testimony of their hatred. To insure Its safety, It was brought by the Emperor’s delegate, Ferdinand Weider, to Vienna, and thence to Prague, where It remained twelve years. In the year 1592, through the mediation and urgent entreaties of a noble lady, Donna Margaritha, in the reign of Rudolph II, It was brought as a present to Philip II of Spain. Philip had sent a special delegate to Vienna, who with the Sacred Host also brought all the documents relating thereto. Even now, this Sacred Host is held in highest veneration. It still retains the prints of the nails, and traces of blood.

Twenty-six Sacred Hosts in Alcala, Spain

One morning during the year 1597, a stranger came to the renowned Jesuit, Father John Suarez, in Alcala. The stranger was a bandit who, in company with several Moors, lived by robbery and theft. They had already plundered three churches and broken open the tabernacles. This one bandit was a Christian, and, having yet preserved a spark of his faith, he secretly gathered up the Hosts and brought them to Father Suarez, who urged him to give up his bad life and return what he had stolen, but the admonition seemed in vain.

The parcel which the robber had handed to Father Suarez contained, to his great surprise, twenty-six consecrated Hosts of various sizes, a sign that they had been stolen from different churches. Father Suarez took counsel with the learned Father Vasquez, as to what should be done with the Hosts. At first they agreed that the Hosts should be consumed the next morning; then the fear arose that the robber might be a fraud, and the Hosts be poisoned by the bandits in order to take the priest’s life.

It was then resolved to preserve them with the utmost reverence for some time, together with a notice of their origin, written by Father Suarez.

Eleven years after, Father Louis de la Palma, coming to this convent, looked at the Hosts, and was greatly astonished to find them quite fresh and white as if just prepared.

It was now determined to examine the matter more closely. The fathers took as many fresh, unconsecrated hosts, wrapped them in a paper and placed them near the twenty-six Hosts in a damp place in the sacristy, putting beside each package a written account, in order to distinguish one from the other, and locked the place.

After a few months the fathers went to examine them. They found that the fresh hosts had all spoiled, while the twenty-six old ones were perfectly incorrupt. Hereupon the miraculous Hosts were carefully enclosed in a precious shrine, where they remained till the year 1615. At that time, the rector, Father Palma, had them examined by the most renowned medical authorities of Spain. The assembled doctors and theologians were of the unanimous opinion that these Hosts could have been preserved only by a miracle.

The Sacred Species have since been preserved in a beautiful vessel that resembles a temple, which is made in such a way that it is impossible to remove any of the Hosts without breaking the vessel. They may still be seen in this vessel, pure and white. Each year they are carried in solemn procession on the fifth Sunday after Easter. Pope Pius VI granted an indulgence to all who take part in this procession.

The Sacred Hast on the Waters

In a picturesque valley of southern France, among the Upper Pyrenees, nestles the little town of Orthez, in the district of Bearn. At a short distance from the town there formerly stood a small Franciscan monastery, in a most secluded spot, on the banks of the Gave. The time of which we are speaking was that of the insurrection of the Calvinistic Huguenots. One evening, about eight o’clock, the stillness of the tranquil spot was broken by loud shouts of “Death to the Papists!” The revolutionists had come; a crowd of heretics swarmed round the monastery walls. The gate bell was rung violently, the doors were forced open, and the invaders overran the peaceful sanctuary. The unhappy Friars met with a cruel fate. One was killed with the sword, the others were burned alive.

Yet God did not allow the malice of the wicked to prevail against His omnipotence. The Father Guardian had deemed it his most urgent duty to remove the Blessed Sacrament to a place of safety. However, while carrying the ciborium, he fell into the hands of the impious heretics. With diabolical delight they sought to take his precious burden from him, in order to desecrate the consecrated Hosts at their pleasure. But, wonderful to relate, not a single one of these men, no, nor all together, could wrest it from his grasp. At length he fell beneath the repeated blows on his head, and one of his assailants ran a bayonet through his heart. But even in death his iron grasp was not relaxed; the murderers were not able to force the sacred vessel out of the martyr’s hands. Angry and impatient, they cast the body into the fast-flowing waters of the Gave. What hap- pened? Another miracle!

The ciborium remained safe in the hands of its gallant defender, while his lifeless body was swiftly carried by the current to the town of Bayonne, where it stopped under the walls of the Monastery of the Friars Minor. As soon as this was perceived, a crowd collected on the spot to witness the wondrous sight of the Sacramental Savior floating on the waters of the Gave. A cry of joy and praise as- cended to heaven: “Blessed and adored forever be the most holy Sacrament of the altar!”

A solemn procession was immediately formed, issuing from the cathedral, with the bishop at its head. When the procession arrived at the river’s bank, the body was gently drawn in and reverently laid at the bishop’s feet. Stooping down, he took the ciborium without the least difficulty from the martyr’s hands, and, amid the chants of the choristers, solemnly bore it to the cathedral and placed it in the tabernacle. The miraculous ciborium is preserved to this day as an object of special veneration. The remains of the Father Guardian were deposited in the church of his Order, where they are regarded as a precious relic, and it is said that miracles have been worked through the intercession of the martyred friar.

Lord of the Elements

In 1643, Father Silvio Petrasanka, S.J. published a book in Rome, which contained the following marvelous incident: In the year 1603, Chios was threatened by a terrible famine. For two years no rain had fallen and the fields had entirely dried up. The Turks and Christians had already prayed much, but in vain. The Turks then besought the Christians to hold a procession with the most holy Sacrament, in order to obtain God’s mercy.

As soon as the procession began to move, the Turks joined in, and even the troops were obliged to accompany the Blessed Sacrament as a guard of honor. This act of faith was followed by an immediate answer. Scarcely had the procession started when the sky became dark, and the rain fell in such abundance that all had to hasten back to the church. For three days the rain continued to fall and a plentiful harvest resulted. This striking miracle converted many Turks. The governor bestowed numerous privileges upon the Christians, which they enjoyed for centuries.

Sanctuary of Perpetual Adoration Protected

Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament was begun on September 14, 1226, in the chapel of the Holy Cross, at Avignon in France. Clad in sackcloth, with a rope about his waist, King Saint Louis IX assisted at the solemnity. From that time the Perpetual Adoration never ceased there, and has continued even to the present day with but one interruption, that of the French Revolution. This continual adoration was to be a reparation for the insults offered to the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Our Lord was so well pleased with this unceasing worship that in the year 1433 He distinguished this chapel by a special miracle. On November 27 of that year, in consequence of heavy rains, the Rhone overflowed its banks and inundated the whole city. The water stood four feet high outside the chapel walls, and on the inside it had risen over the pews. The altar, however, and the space nearest the altar remained perfectly dry, the water on both sides forming a channel. The documents under the altar were likewise perfectly dry, although the altar stood level with the ground. It was found thus by the wardens of the parish, Armand and Pousillac, and the doctors of theology who had rowed to the chapel in a boat.

An examination under oath concerning this fact was instituted, and the miracle is solemnly commemorated every year.

Tornado and the Blessed Sacrament

The Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration at Clyde, Missouri, has been visibly protected by Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at various times. On June 21, the feast of Saint Aloysius, 1893, at about three o’clock in the afternoon, a very severe storm came up in the west. In serious thought, the Chaplain walked back and forth in front of the convent, anxiously observing the sky. The heat was oppressive, not a leaf stirred. The clouds at a distance of some eight to ten miles rolled to and fro, arranging themselves in battle array. Now and then a flash of lightning lit up the gloomy dark-grey mass. “A fearful storm is coming,” the priest exclaimed, and hastened to the chapel to give the “blessing of the weather.”

In a few minutes the storm broke in all its fury. Crash followed crash in quick succession! The earth trembled, the wind howled, the clouds approached the ground. Trees were torn up by the roots, and the darkness of night prevailed. Would the weak convent buildings withstand the raging tempest? The first onset was frightful; chimneys were swept away, and the entire chapel trembled to its foundation. The force of the wild element continued to grow more and more terrific. Suddenly the panes of the rosette window on the west side of the chapel were blown in with a crash. Wonderful to relate, however, one pane in the center, on which was painted the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was left intact.

Seeing that the fury of the storm was not abating, the priest went to the altar, opened the tabernacle, took the ciborium and with it faced the storm. Many of the Sisters were weeping and crying out: “O Lord, save us or we perish!” All crowded around the altar. The storm continued to rage; the building shook; flowers and candlesticks fell with a crash from the altar; the priest became drenched by the dashing rain forced in through the openings. Even the ciborium veil was dripping, and the large statue of the Sacred Heart enthroned in the central niche of the altar, threatened to fall upon him at any moment. But he stood there quietly, knowing that in his hands he held Him who commands the wind and the waves.

Gradually the raging storm became more calm, to the great relief of all. The storm at length passed away, but all about lay fallen trees torn up by their roots, and the convent’s new barn had been reduced to a heap of ruins. This same storm had also caused serious damage to the strongly built Abbey-Church at Conception, Missouri, the roof of which was torn off and the heavy walls of which gave way in two places. The beautiful structure presented a most doleful sight indeed after the disaster. The following morning the Benedictine Sisters sang a High Mass in thanksgiving to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for His singular protection.

“I Want to Go Where Jesus Is”

At the Eucharistic Congress of Paray-le-Monial, the Bishop of Autun related the following incident which had been told him by His Eminence, Cardinal Vaughan of London –

A Protestant minister, who by the grace of God was powerfully drawn towards Catholicity, but could not resolve to take the decisive step, had come to London. He was the father of a family, and was accompanied by his five-year-old daughter.

He took the child first into a Catholic church, where her attention was immediately attracted by the perpetual lamp which burned before the tabernacle.

“Papa, why is that lamp burning there?”

“That signifies that Jesus is in this church, just behind the little golden door which you see upon the altar.”

“I would so much like to see Jesus.”

“But the door is locked, dear. And besides, Jesus is hidden by a covering, so that you could not see Him.”

But the child kept repeating: “I would so much like to see Jesus.”

Later they entered a Protestant church, where there was neither lamp nor tabernacle.

“Papa, why is there no lamp here?”

“Because Jesus is not here.”

The child opened her large innocent eyes in astonishment, then became silent and thoughtful. From that time forward she would hear of nothing except the Catholic Church, and there was a struggle whenever she was taken to a Protestant place of worship. She always protested, “I want to go where Jesus is.”

These words made a deep impression upon the father. Like his child he began to feel that it is well with us only where Jesus is.

But he must renounce his own church, and publicly enter the fold. This would mean financial ruin to himself and family. He must sacrifice his salary, their only support. However, he made the sacrifice and his wife did likewise. They embraced the true religion, saying with their child: “I want to go where Jesus is.”

Edifying Examples of Faith in the Real Presence

Some Protestants once asked the renowned Daniel O’Connell, liberator of Ireland, how he could be so narrow-minded and foolish as to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. This faithful son of Holy Church answered: “You must discuss that with Jesus Christ Himself. Let Him speak. He has said so, therefore I believe. If it is not true, then He is to blame; but the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.”

“Christ has said so,” this thought must banish all doubts which may arise concerning this miracle of miracles, the Blessed Sacrament.

“I believe all the Son of God has spoken, than Truth’s own word there is no truer token.” (Hymn ” Adoro Te” by Saint Thomas Aquinas.)

The Venerable Benventus, a Franciscan lay brother, spent every moment he could spare from his occupations in the church, where he prayed with the fervor of an angel and was often ravished in ecstasy. On one of these occasions he regained consciousness when it was time for the midday meal, which, as cook of the mon- astery, he had failed to make ready. Has- tening to the kitchen, he found an angel who in his stead had prepared the dinner. The brothers afterwards remarked that they had never had a better meal.

“Why did you enter the convent?” a holy religious was once asked. “You could have prayed and served God in the world just as well.” “That may be,” she replied, “but I could not have lived under the same roof with Our Lord.”

King Philip II of Spain

Philip II, King of Spain, always dispensed with ceremony when he assisted at processions of the Blessed Sacrament, and as an ordinary person mingled with the people. Bad weather never deterred him from paying this tribute of honor to his Lord. One day as he was devoutly accompanying the Blessed Sacrament with uncovered head, a servant held his hat over him, to shield him from the burning sun. “Never mind,” said Philip, “the sun will do me no harm; at such a time as this we must regard neither rain nor wind, heat nor cold.”

On another occasion, while the Blessed Sacrament was being carried a great distance to a sick person, Philip accompanied It all the way on foot. The priest, observing this, asked him if he were not tired. “Tired!” he replied, “behold! my servants wait upon me day and night, and never have I heard one of them complain of being tired. Shall I, then, complain of fatigue when I am waiting upon my Lord and my God, whom I can never sufficiently serve and honor?”

Silence in the Church

The Emperor Napoleon, being obliged one morning to speak to a certain lady, was told that she was in the church. He hurried there and announced in a loud tone of voice that he had something of importance to say to her. The woman seized him by the arm and said: “We are not here to chatter, but to hear Holy Mass! Be quiet and kneel down!” Napoleon, the conqueror of the world, obeyed, knelt down and assisted at Mass to the end. Then, quietly going out with her, he said: “Madam, such fine people as you must in future have perfect freedom in religious worship, and I oblige myself today to work for this liberty.” This was the beginning of his resolution to reopen the churches for Divine service.

Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament Rewarded

A nun who had lived in a certain convent of Saint Gertrude appeared soon after her death and revealed: “Oh, what a joy it is for me, dear Mother, and what a blessing it has brought me, that during my life I was especially devoted to the Blessed Sacrament! On account of my devotion, the fruits of the Holy Masses which are now said for my repose are so abundantly applied to me that I shall soon be delivered, and shall enter into the Heavenly Jerusalem.”

Motives for Visiting Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Frequently

1. I will often visit my Savior, because Jesus is ever present in the Blessed Sacrament as my Lord and God, and therefore constant adoration and homage are due to Him.

2. I will often visit my Savior, because the Heart of Jesus, which was pierced for me on the Cross, is throbbing for me on the altar, and with inexpressible love craves for a return of love.

3. I will often visit my Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, because I thereby give the greatest joy to Mary, my dearest Mother, to Saint Joseph, and all the angels and saints, who constantly adore Jesus in heaven.

4. I will often visit my Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, because to visit and adore the Blessed Sacrament frequently is a very meritorious act and a profession of the Catholic Faith.

5. I will often visit my Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, because Our Lord has reserved special graces for His special friends. In the Holy Eucharist Our Lord is full of mercy and love. He imparts His graces in richest measure to those who lovingly visit Him there.

6. I will often visit my Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, because thereby I make atonement for my sins and the sins of all mankind, especially for desecrations of the Blessed Sacrament, and for the coldness and neglect of so many Christians.

7. I will often visit my Savior, because God is the best paymaster, and rewards a hundredfold every sacrifice we bring for His sake.

8. I will often visit my Savior, because Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament teaches me humility, obedience, love, and, in fact, every virtue, especially the spirit of sacrifice, of which I stand so much in need to perform my duties faithfully.

9. I will often visit my Savior, because thereby I can give unspeakable consolation and aid to the souls in purgatory, especially by applying to them many indulgences.

10. I will often visit my Savior, because to visit and venerate the Blessed Sacrament frequently is the best preparation for my future adoration in heaven.

Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament

We love to be blessed. We reverently kneel to receive a parent’s blessing. How we covet the blessing of God’s priests! But what of receiving the blessing of God Himself! Is there such a heavenly thing on earth? Is such a happiness possible? Yes; Jesus is in the Holy Eucharist on earth, and Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament is the blessing of Jesus Christ – God Himself. Oh! the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! Not only can we visit Him whenever we please, but He Himself from the monstrance is most eager to bless us and shower His graces upon us.

There are few ceremonies in the Church which so touchingly speak to the heart as Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament. What a blessed and delightful sight our churches present at Benediction! The richest decorations are lavished upon the altar. It is decorated with choicest flowers, and the most exquisite roses of the garden are not too rare to blush before the Lord who gave to them their tint and beauty. Blazing lights shed their rays around, and the odor of sweet incense ascends as prayer before the Lord of Hosts.

But all eyes and all hearts are centered on one Object – Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy of Holies enthroned in the monstrance. Oh, how heavenly to gaze on the Sacred Host, and like the Blessed Virgin to behold and adore and love our God! The brilliant decorations, the gorgeous robes of God’s minister, the clouds of incense, the strains of religious music, the sweetness of sacred hymns, the joyous peals of bells mingled with the deep solemn notes of the organ: everything tends to raise the soul to heaven, to touch and melt the heart with love, to make us forget earth, and to exclaim with Saint Peter when he beheld the glory of Jesus on Mount Thabor: “Lord, it is good for us to be here” (Matthew 17:4).

Presently the music ceases, every voice is hushed, every head is bowed, or the eyes gaze lovingly on the Sacred Host. God alone speaks; and amidst this solemn silence the priest elevates the monstrance. The Blessed Sacrament is raised aloft, and the blessing of Jesus Christ, the Son of God descends upon the heads and hearts of the fervent congregation. – What scene is so calculated to inspire the soul of man with the most exalted thoughts of the majesty, goodness and love of God! We see, and touch, and feel, so to speak, the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

What a privilege from heaven is Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, to kneel before Jesus, to join the angels in adoring Him, and to receive His precious blessing! But this blessing, alas! how little it is esteemed, how little valued by some indifferent and faithless Christians! May Jesus warm their cold hearts and animate their weak faith. May the rays of Divine love issuing from the monstrance, penetrate our hearts, and kindle in our souls such ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament, that we may never omit even one opportunity in our whole lives of receiving the Benediction of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.

To receive the blessing of our Savior we need not travel far; in our own parish churches, so near our homes, we may receive the blessing of Jesus Christ – God Himself! How blessed the inspiration which has led the Church of God to grant us this consolation! Have we ever neglected Benediction? Have we appreciated it as we ought? May heaven grant us the grace to know and esteem its value.

Impressions of Non-Catholics

How deep an impression Catholic services, especially the solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, can make on well-disposed, unprejudiced non-Catholics, is taught us by Dr. Jenish, a Protestant, in his work “Divine Worship.” He writes –

“I consider it a Divine, a tremendous moment – pardon this bold expression – yes, a Divine, a tremendous moment, when the priest of the Catholic Church elevates the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance for the adoration of the faithful. During this one great moment the fervent Catholic beholds and feels the Divinity in person, the redemption, the sanctification, eternal life, the terrors and joys of eternity; his body, his spirit, are no longer on earth, they are with God, and God is with him. Can a Protestant clergyman, a Spalding, a Reinhard, boast of having ever developed and delivered a sermon of such eloquence as to effect in his hearers the living perception of the invisible, the realization of that which ‘eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard and which hath not entered into the heart of man?’… During my stay in Vienna, I visited the church of Saint Stephen one Sunday morning. It was here that I witnessed a multitude of devout Catholics kneeling in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament that was being elevated. Deeply moved at such a spectacle, and with tears in my eyes, I involuntarily sank down on my knees, and prayed most fervently!”

Cardinal Wiseman, who founded a convent of Perpetual Adoration in London, and who delivered the sermon on the occasion of the blessing of the chapel, related to his hearers the following incident –

“There was a distinguished German lady, well known for her talent, piety, and many acts of charity, but she was a Protestant and prejudiced against the Catholic Church. On a journey, while passing through the Eternal City, she stepped into a church of Perpetual Adoration, where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed all the year around for the adoration of the faithful. There she beheld a crowd of people, some of them kneeling before the altar, others with their eyes fixed upon it in ardor and contemplation, and everyone absorbed in silent prayer. Ignorant of the mysterious object which captivated the attention of all those present, and only observing a great number of candles burning on the altar, the lady said to herself, ‘Great God! these people are surely not adoring the candles?’ Nevertheless, to her great annoyance, an interior impulse forced her to her knees, and to adore, she knew not whom or what. At another time she experienced the same attraction. Another year passed before she found the true light and learned to know Him who is enthroned on the altar. Often afterwards she shed tears of grief when recalling that year, during which she had resisted grace.”

Pious Aspirations to the Blessed Sacrament

by Venerable Martin von Cochem

O most adorable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, I bless and praise Thee from the bottom of my heart in the name of all the angels and saints. O most blessed Sacrament, what happiness I feel in contemplating Thee and what consolation my soul experiences at the thought that my God is truly here present! O most glorious Sacrament, Thou art indeed worthy of all honor; I love Thee, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, and humbly prostrating myself in Thy Presence, I adore Thee; and I thank my dearest Jesus a thousand times for having instituted Thee to be our consolation and eternal salvation.

O most amiable Sacrament, would that I had the humility of the saints that I might thus adore Thee with true reverence! Would that I had the devotion of all loving souls, that I might worship Thee with an ardent devotion! Would that I had the love of all created hearts, wherewith to love Thee. Oh, would that I could repay Thee a thousand times by my honor and thanksgiving for all the outrages and insults Thou dost receive from wicked men. I will, at least, give Thee all the honor in my power, O most sweet, most precious, most adorable Sacrament!

Full of confidence, I call to Thee for grace and mercy, and beseech Thee to help me to lead a more holy life.

O saving Sacrament, heal me!

O life-giving Sacrament, nourish me!

O precious Sacrament, satiate me!

O most sweet Sacrament, revive me!

O powerful Sacrament, strengthen me!

O most merciful Sacrament, have pity on me!

O most amiable Sacrament, inflame my heart!

O Sacrament most holy, sanctify me! Let me hide myself in Thee, so that in life and in death I may be safe from the anger of an offended God! O most merciful Jesus! I beseech Thee through Thy infinite love, which constrains Thee to dwell perpetually in this most holy Sacrament, have mercy on me a poor sinner, and forsake me not in my last hour. Oh, give me a true devotion and respect for Thy adorable Sacrament, and grant me the grace always to receive It worthily, particularly at the hour of my death. Amen.

Litany of the Blessed Sacrament
for private use

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven,
   Have Mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
   Have Mercy on us
God the Holy Ghost,
   Have Mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God,
   Have Mercy on us
Bread of Angels,
   Have Mercy on us
Living Bread that came down from heaven,
   Have Mercy on us
Bread containing all sweetness within Itself,
   Have Mercy on us
Bread which was given for the life of the world,
   Have Mercy on us
Bread of our souls,
   Have Mercy on us
Hidden God and Savior,
   Have Mercy on us
Crown of the elect,
   Have Mercy on us
Fruit of the tree of life,
   Have Mercy on us
Fountain of grace,
   Have Mercy on us
Perpetual Sacrifice,
   Have Mercy on us
Food of Christians,
   Have Mercy on us
Immaculate Lamb,
   Have Mercy on us
Memorial of the wonders of God,
   Have Mercy on us
Atonement for sinners,
   Have Mercy on us
Bond of peace and love,
   Have Mercy on us
Strength of the weak,
   Have Mercy on us
Food of the hungry,
   Have Mercy on us
Health of the sick,
   Have Mercy on us
Viaticum of the dying,
   Have Mercy on us
Pledge of future glory,
   Have Mercy on us
Be merciful to us,
   Spare us, O Lord!
Be merciful to us,
   Graciously hear us, O Lord!
From an unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From the lust of the flesh,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From the lust of the eyes,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From the pride of life,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From the disorderly desire of the goods of this world,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From all occasions of sin,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
From eternal death,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
Through the deep humility with which Thou didst wash Thy disciples’ feet,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
Through the burning love with which Thou didst institute the Blessed Sacrament,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
Through Thy earnest desire for our eternal salvation,
   Deliver us, O Lord Jesus
We sinners, beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst preserve in us a lively faith in this holy Sacrament,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst increase in us reverence for this holy Sacrament,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst awaken in us a lively faith in this holy Mystery,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst strengthen us in all goodness,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst call us from the death of sin to the life of grace,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst confirm and preserve us in Thy grace,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst preserve us from all snares of the enemy,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst govern and enlighten our minds by the visitation of Thy grace,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That we may ever rejoice in Thee,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou mayest enkindle in us the fire of Thy love,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou mayest unite us all in the bonds of brotherly love,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That at the hour of our death Thou wouldst strengthen us with this heavenly Food,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
That Thou wouldst preserve us unto life eternal,
   We beseech Thee to hear us
Son of God,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Jesus!

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Jesus!

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us!

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.

V. The gracious and merciful Lord has given to us a memorial of His wonders.

R. He has given Himself as Food to those who fear Him.

V. Thou hast given them bread from heaven,

R. Replenished with all sweetness and delight.


O God, who in this wonderful Sacra- ment has bequeathed to us a perpetual *We beseech Thee, hear us. memorial of Thy Passion, grant us the grace, we beseech Thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may ever feel within us the fruits of Thy redemption. Who livest and reign- est, God, world without end. Amen.

Salutations to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
by Saint Gertrude

I salute Thee with my whole heart, most Sacred Flesh and Precious Blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, really and substantially present under the forms of bread and wine in the praiseworthy Sacrament of the altar. I desire to adore Thee with that reverence and devotion with which the nine choirs of angels adore Thee. In the spirit of humility I sink down in the dust before Thee and solemnly profess that Thou, my Lord and God, art really and truly present with Thy Divinity and Humanity in the Sacrament of the altar.

I salute Thee, all-worthy Body of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! true and living Sacrifice offered for the Redemption of the whole human race on the Tree of the Cross. I worship and adore Thee with that adoration and reverence which Thy Sacred Humanity rendered to the Divinity. In the name of all the faithful, I offer Thee my thanksgiving for the unbounded love which retains Thee for our salvation in the adorable sacrament.

I salute Thee, most amiable Jesus! Word of the Father, splendor of His eternal glory, sweet Food of angels, ever-flowing fountain of mercy, salvation of the world, Lamb of God, Fruit of the Virgin, perfect and holiest Sacrifice for our ransom and sanctification, which reconciled heaven and earth. Hail, Bread of Life, Source of eternal joy!

I salute Thee, O Jesus, admirable King of Thy faithful! I salute Thee, most glorious Divinity and Humanity of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, present under the lowly appearance of the Sacred Host for the consolation and joy of my soul! I adore, worship, extol and praise Thee in time and eternity.

I salute Thee, most holy Sacrament of the altar! I firmly believe that Thou, O my Jesus, my Lord and God, art here present; that Thou gazest upon me from this holy Sacrament and seest to the depths of my being. My Jesus, I firmly believe that, under the appearance of bread, not only Thy Sacred Body and Precious Blood, but also Thy whole Divinity and Humanity, are truly and substantially present. I realize that I can never fathom the depths of this Mystery, but my faith in this Sacrament of Thy love is so firmly rooted that I would willingly give my life in defense of this sacred doctrine.

I salute Thee, most holy Sacrament of the altar! In profound reverence I bow down in the dust before Thee, and with all the angels and archangels, with the cherubim and seraphim, with the whole heavenly army, I greet Thee with burning love: “Praised and blessed forever be the most holy Sacrament of the Altar!” Prayers before the Blessed Sacrament

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.

R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

I adore Thee, Eternal Father, and I give Thee thanks for the infinite love with which Thou didst deign to send Thy only-begotten Son to redeem me, and to become the Food of my soul. I offer Thee all the acts of adoration and thanksgiving that are offered to Thee by the angels and saints in heaven and by the just on earth. I praise, love, and thank Thee with all the praise, love and thanksgiving that is offered to Thee by Thine own Son in the Blessed Sacrament; and I beg Thee to grant that He may be known, loved, honored, praised, and worthily received by all in this most Divine Sacrament.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

I adore Thee, Eternal Son, and I thank Thee for the infinite love which caused Thee to become man for me, to be born in a stable, to live in poverty, to suffer hunger, thirst, heat, cold, fatigue, hardships, contempt, persecutions, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, and a cruel death upon the hard wood of the Cross. I thank Thee with the Church militant and trium- phant, for the infinite love with which Thou didst institute the Most Blessed Sacrament to be the Food of my soul.

I adore Thee in all the consecrated Hosts throughout the whole world, and I return thanks for those who know Thee not, and who do not thank Thee. Would that I were able to give my life to make Thee known, loved, and honored by all in this Sacrament of Love, and to prevent the irreverences and sacrileges that are committed against Thee! I love Thee, Divine Jesus, and I desire to receive Thee with all the purity, love and affection of Thy Blessed Mother, and with the love and affection of Thy own most pure Heart. Grant, O most amiable Spouse of my soul, in coming to me in this most holy Sacrament, that I may receive all the graces and blessings which Thou dost come to bestow on us, and let me rather die than receive Thee unworthily.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

I adore Thee, Eternal Spirit, and I give Thee thanks for the infinite love with which Thou didst work the ineffable Mystery of the Incarnation, and didst form the Sacred Body of our Lord Jesus Christ out of the pure blood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to become in this Sacrament the Food of my soul. I beg Thee to enlighten my mind, and to purify my heart and the hearts of all men, that they all may know this great benefit of Thy love, and receive this holy Sacrament worthily.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

– text taken from book Eucharistic Miracles, by Father Lukas Etlin, O.S.B., printed by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration, Clyde Missouri; Nihil Obstat; + Stephanus Schappler, O.S.B., Abbas Coadjutor Im. Conceptions; Imprimatur: + Carolus Hubertus Le Blond, Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Joseph, Missouri