Santarém, Portugal – 13th Century
Foundation of the region of Santarém is attributed to the Romans who occupied the area they called Scalabis in the 2nd century BC. The Visigoth’s occupied the area next and then in the 8th century the Arabs controlled what was then called Shantarin in Arabic. Afonso Henriques took the city from the Arabs in 1147, and became the first King of Portugal. The current city of Santarém is located on the right bank of the Tagus River about 40 miles northeast of Lisbon.
Sometime in the early to mid 13th century (the date is not completely firm but listed as between 1225 and 1247) a woman consulted a sorceress regarding her unhappy marriage. The sorceress said that she could help the woman and cure her husband’s infidelity for a price. The price was a Consecrated Host.
After deliberating her options, the women decided to commit sacrilege. The next time she went to Mass at her church, the church of St. Stephen, she did not consume the Holy Eucharist, but took it from her mouth and wrapped it in her veil. The Host began to bleed through the veil. So instead of taking the Host to the sorceress, she took It home and put It in a box in her bedroom.
That night the woman and her husband awoke to see a bright light coming from the box. The woman told her husband what she had done and they both knelt in repentance before the Miracle. The following day they took the Host to their parish priest where It was placed where others could worship the Miracle. The Host bled for three days, after which the priest placed the Blood and Host into a wax reliquary in the tabernacle.
In 1340 another miracle occurred. When a priest came to view the wax reliquary, it was discovered that the container had shattered. In its place was a crystal reliquary containing the Blood and Host mixed with wax.
Over 750 years later, this miraculous Relic is still kept in St. Stephen Church, but the church is now called Church of the Holy Miracle. The Blood and Host are enshrined in a crystal pyx in a monstrance and during special occasions placed on display. The actual address of the church is R. Miguel Bombarda, Santarem, Portugal, 2000.
But we do not have to go all the way to Santarem to witnesss a Eucharistic Miracle. Our Lord comes to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity every time we celebrate Mass.
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Index of Eucharistic Miracles
First three pictures - Front of Church of the Holy Miracle, inside Church of the Holy Miracle, Elevation of the Holy Eucharist at the Church of the Holy Miracle from Images from the Heart of Worship.