AD 1230 and 1595
AD 1230 and 1595
Florence was established as a settlement for soldiers in 80 BC, nearly 2100 years later, Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany as well as Tuscany's most populous city. Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is famous for its history. It is also the home of two Eucharistic Miracles which took place in Saint Ambrose Church.
The church is said to have been built where Saint Ambrose would have stayed when he visited Florence in 393.
The first recorded date of the church building is from 998. Originally built as a monastery for nuns, the church has been much rebuilt and restored over the years.
Inside there are four altar areas, the highlight of which is the Chapel of the Sacrament, where Cosmo Rosselli painted The Procession of the Miraculous Chalice (shown in the picture above and below) which represents the moment when all of Florence gathered around in great devotion to the Eucharistic Miracle in 1230.
Eucharistic Miracle 1230
The first miracle took place on December 30, 1230. After saying Mass, Fr. Uguccione did not purify the chalice properly, inadvertently leaving a few drops of the Consecrated Wine in the chalice. The following day when Fr. was preparing for Mass, he noticed that coagulated Blood had formed at the bottom of the chalice.
The Precious Blood was shown to the nuns who lived at the monastery and to the local bishop who deemed it miraculous. The Precious Blood was placed in a crystal cruet and reverently presented to the people of Florence. The Rosselli fresco, discussed earlier, on the altar wall represents this moment.
In 1481 Madonna Maria Barbadori, the abbess of the monastery, commissioned Mino da Fiesole to build the Tabernacle (shown below) that would contain the reliquary of the Precious Blood and Cosmo Rosselli to paint the frescoes. Work was completed in 1486.
To this day, 800 years later, the Blood continues to be coagulated measuring about one half inch square.
Eucharistic Miracle 1595
On Good Friday 1595, a candle started a fire in one of the altar areas of the Church of Saint Ambrose. The towns people rushed to save the Blessed Sacrament from the Tabernacle above the altar. As they left the burning church some of the Hosts fell into the flames.
After the fire had been extinguished, six Hosts were found joined together intact on the floor of the church.
In 1628, Archbishop Marzio Medici of Florence examined the Hosts and found them to be incorrupt. They were placed in a reliquary and stored with the miraculous Blood from the first miracle.
Two miracles one of each species, the Precious Blood and Precious Body. Both may be viewed every year in May during the Forty Hours devotion at the Church of Saint Ambrose, Piazza Sant 'Ambrogio, 1, 50121, Frienze, Italy.
But we don’t have to go all the way to Florence to experience a Eucharistic miracle – the precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord is there waiting for us at every Mass and in the Tabernacle of our parish church.
Research on the Chapel of the Sacrament was found in A Guide to the Paintings in the Churches and Minor Museums of Florence by Maud Cruttwell and Giorgio Vasari. Pg. 3 - 4. (Free Google E-Book)
Picture of fresco in the Chapel of the Miracle - The Legend of the Miraculous Chalice by Cosimo Rosselli - From Hidden Florence Relics on Parade
Picture - another view of The Legend of the Miraculous Chalice by Cosimo Rosselli - From The Churches of Florence East
Picture of the crystal cruet reliquary holding the Precious Blood from the Eucharistic Miracle of 1230 - From The Eucharistic Miracles of the World, pg.119.
Picture of the Tabernacle of the Church of Saint Ambrose from Wikipedia
Picture of the reliquary holding the Precious Hosts from the Eucharistic Miracle of 1595 - From The Eucharistic Miracles of the World, pg.119.