Douai, France 1254
Douai, France 1254
Douai, France is located in northern France on the River Scarpe, where in the 4th century the Romans built a fortress known as Castellum Duacum. In the 9th century, Douai became part of the County of Flanders and was disputed by the King of France until 1369. Finally becoming part of France when Louis XIV annexed it in 1667-8.
Saint Amatus (Today Saint Ame Square) Church in Douai was built around 950 and was destroyed in 1798 during the French Revolution. On Easter Sunday 1254 in this Church in Douai a priest was distributing Holy Communion and accidentally dropped one of the consecrated Hosts on the ground. When he bent down to pick up the Host, It flew up and landed on the purificator. A few moments later a Child appeared on the purificator. All those present at Mass witnessed the miracle.
News spread and the Bishop of Cambrai, Thomas de Cantimpre went to Douai to verify the events in person. He described them this way: "I went to the dean of the church, followed by many faithful, and asked to see the miracle. The dean opened the small case in which he had reposed the Host of the miracle...when I glanced at the Host and saw the face of Christ crowned with thorns, two drops of Blood descending down His forehead. Immediately I knelt, and weeping, began to thank God." (1)
The precious relic of the miracle was preserved and honored until 1793. Five years later, during the French Revolution Saint Ame Church was destroyed. A little over 50 years later, in 1854, the pastor of Saint Pierre's Church in Douai discovered a small wooden box under the Altar of the Dead. The box contained a small Host that was still white. A letter written in Latin was found with the Host, it stated, "I, the undersigned, canon of the distinguished collegiate Church of St. Amatus, certify this to be the real and true Host of the holy miracle, which I removed from imminent danger of profanation...I have placed the Host in this pyx and have left this witness, written by my own hand, for the faithful who will discover It in the future (January 5, 1793)." (1)
For devotional items related to the Catholic Church, please visit Lynn’s Timeless Treasures.
Two aerial pictures of the Church of St. Pierre in Douai from Wikipedia
Picture of the Chapel of Our Lady of Miracles from patrimoine-histoire.fr
Last two pictures from Sacred Host of the Miracle of Douai
(1) The Eucharistic Miracles of the World, page 48-49.