Miracle on Eucharist:
In 1263 a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of St. Christina (located in the church named for this martyr), he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.
The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.
The pope listened to the priest’s account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other ecclesiastical dignitaries in attendance, the pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the cathedral of Orvieto.
It is said that Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the propers for a Mass and an Office honoring the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Christ. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint’s composition, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.
After visiting the Orvieto cathedral, many pilgrims and tourists journey to St. Christina’s Church in Bolsena to see for themselves the place where the miracle occurred. From the north aisle of the church one can enter the Chapel of the Miracle, where the stains on the paved floor are said to have been made by the blood from the miraculous Host. The altar of the miracle, which is surmounted by a 9th century canopy, is now situated in the grotto of St. Christina. A reclining statue of the saint is nearby.
Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers are an apostolic group of men whose ideal is to assist the Church in her efforts to form Christian communities whose center of life is the Eucharist. They commit themselves to the implementation of this ideal in collaboration with lay persons engaged in Christian ministries. For 160 years, the priests, deacons, and brothers have reached all continents of the globe and continue the mission begun by St. Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist. They believe that Christ in the Eucharist has the power to effect a radical transformation in the society and in all people.
The power of the Eucharist motivates and strengthens them to work for the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on earth. They proclaim the reality of God’s love in the Eucharist by their “gift of self” to Him and their brothers and sisters. By prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and an active apostolic life, they strive to make Christ in the Eucharist better known and loved. In all that they do, Christ in the Eucharist is their inspiration and the center of their personal and community life. They seek to understand all human reality in the light of the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church.