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Monday, October 5, 2015

Holy Eucharist - Eucharistic Miracle - Shedding His Blood - Offida, Italy

Eucharistic Miracle
Shedding His Blood
Offida, Italy - 1273
Feast Day - May 3 

The miracle of Offida begins in Lanciano in the year 1273 when newly married Ricciarella Stasio felt it necessary to utilize the services of the town witch in order to rekindle the affection of her husband Giacomo.

The witch told Ricciarella that in order to fix her marriage she should receive Holy Communion, but not consume the consecrated Host.  She should then take the Host home, burn it into a powder over her fire, and place the ashes into her husband’s food or drink. In other words, she should commit a sacrilege and desecrate the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord.  This is something no one should ever do!
For some reason Ricciarella did what the witch told her to do. She placed the consecrated Host she had received at Holy Communion on a tile and held it over the fire.  Instead of turning to powder, the outside portion of the Host turned into flesh and began to bleed.  The center of the Host retained its original form.

Panicking, Ricciarella took wax and dirt and threw it over the Host to try and cover the Blood.  But the Blood seeped through the dirt.  So Ricciarella covered the Host with a linen tablecloth decorated with silk embroidery and lace. 

She then buried this in the stable under the dung heap of their mule.  From that time on, whenever Giacomo brought their mule into the barn, the mule would genuflect toward the manure pile. 

Ricciarella lived with this grave sin for seven years.  Finally she could no longer stand the torment that her action had brought her and she confessed to the priest of the local Augustinian monastery in Lanciano.  Ricciarella and the friar went to the stable and dug up the Host.  When they uncovered the Host they found that It was intact and appeared as It had seven years earlier. 

Since the Augustinian friar was a native of Offida, Italy, the miracle was deemed property of Offida.

A craftsman in Venice fashioned a cross-shaped reliquary to hold the sacred relic. 

Today the reliquaries of the tile, the Blood-stained linen, and the cross containing the miraculous Host are exposed in St. Augustine’s Church in Offida.

Ricciarella’s house in Lanciano was made into a small chapel.  Every year on May 3rd the citizens of Offida celebrate the anniversary of the miracle.  

In 1788 Giovanni Battista Doria authenticated a parchment from the 13th century describing this miracle.  There are also Papal Bulls from Pope Boniface VIII (1295), and Pope Sixtus V (1585) that describe the miracle.  

As a Catholic, we are not obliged to believe in these Eucharistic miracles, even if they are officially recognized by the Church.  But, we must not exclude the possibility that God might intervene in an extraordinary way at any given moment to any person.  He certainly does that at every time the Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated.  

For devotional items related to the Catholic Church, please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures.  

Photos taken from Public Domain and from The Eucharistic Miracles of the World Catalog of the Vatican International Exhibition pages 132 - 133.
1.  Photo of Church of St. Augustine Offida Italy.
2.  Close up of the cloth with Blood stains.
3.  Close up of the cross-shaped reliquary that contains the Host and some wood from the True Cross.
4.  The relics of the tile and cloth below the cross.

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