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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Holy Eucharist - Eucharistic Miracle - Meerssen, Netherlands - 1222

Eucharistic Miracle 
Meerssen, Netherlands 1222 and 1465
Feast Day - Corpus Christi 

Meerssen, a town in the southeastern Netherlands came into existence in 870 by the Treaty of Meerssen which was a division of property between the medieval realm of the Franks. In the middle of the 900's, Meerssen became the property of queen Gerberga, who eventually became the wife of Louis IV of France.  As queen of West France, she became acquainted with the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Remi. In 968 she donated her palace at Meerssen to the Benedictine monks of Saint Remi, who later made the palace into their deanery/monastery. Around 1100, the Benedictine's enlarged this into a Romanesque style church. It was in the church that two Eucharistic Miracles occurred. 

Eucharistic Miracle

In 1222 during a Sunday Mass, after the priest consecrated the Eucharist, living Blood began to drip from the large Host held by the priest.  This stained the corporal. The Blood stained Host and corporal were reserved and venerated by the Benedictine's, and the many pilgrims who flocked to Meerssen to see the Miracle. By 1318 the nave had been enlarged to support three Gothic bays for the large number of pilgrims that came to venerate the relic.      

Eucharistic Miracle

In 1465 Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy attacked Meerssen and set fire to the Benedictine Church of Meerssen.  A farmer who came upon the burning church managed to rescue the relic of the Blood stained Host and corporal. The picture above is a painting by F. Nicolas, representing the fire miracle of 1465. Today, this painting can be viewed in the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament, Meerssen.

In 1500 the church was rebuilt and the Sacrament Tower was built to hold the relics of the Miracle.    


In 1938, Pope Pius XI elevated the church to a basilica known now as the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament. Today, over 790 years later the relics of the Host and Blood stained corporal may be viewed at the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament, Markt 25 6231 LR Meerssen, Netherlands.  They are carried in procession each year during the octave of Corpus Christi.  

But we do not have to go all the way to Meerssen, Netherlands to witness a Eucharistic Miracle. Our Lord comes to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity every time we celebrate Mass.  

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

Index of Eucharistic Miracles 

Photograph of Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament, Meerssen, Netherlands (also called St. Bartholomew's Basilica), photo of the Sacrament Tower
 from, interior view of church Kerkgebouwe in Limburg
Devotional card drawing of first miracle, and picture of the painting by F. Nicolas, from Meertens Institute
Picture of a Novena Booklet from the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament from The Eucharistic Miracles of the World page 187.

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