Miracle of Lanciano

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In Catholicism, the Miracle of Lanciano is a Eucharistic miracle which is alleged to have occurred in the eighth century in the city of Lanciano, Italy. According to tradition, a monk who had doubts about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist found, when he said the words of consecration at Mass, that the bread and wine changed into flesh and blood. The Catholic Church officially claims the miracle as authentic.

As of 2012, the relics of this miracle reside in the Church of San Francesco, Lanciano in Corso Roma.[1] The story has similarity to the tradition known as the Mass of Saint Gregory, first recorded in the 8th century by Paul the Deacon.

The event[edit]

The alleged miracle is usually described roughly as follows: In the city of Lanciano, Italy, then known as Anxanum, some time in the 700s, a Basilian hieromonk was assigned to celebrate Mass at the monastery of St. Longinus. Celebrating in the Roman Rite and using unleavened bread, the monk had doubts about the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. During the Mass, when he said the Words of Consecration ("This is my body. This is my blood"), the priest saw the bread change into living flesh and the wine change into blood which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size.[2] The alleged miracle was contemporaneously investigated and confirmed by the Church, though no documents from this investigation are extant.[2]

The sanctuary of the miracle: Church of San Francesco


Piazza Plebiscito, with the church of the miracle: San Francesco Sanctuary

Various investigations prove the tissue specimens are authentic, but have unusual qualities.[2] This measurement took place during the scientific investigation and was replicated in an investigation by Archbishop Antonio Gaspar Rodríguez in 1574.

In 1971, the specimens were analyzed by Odoardo Linoli, a professor in anatomy and pathological histology as well as chemistry and clinical microscopy, and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo.[3] The report was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971.[3][4] Dr. Linoli's analysis was confirmed by Ruggero Bertelli, a retired professor of human anatomy at the University of Siena.[2]

Linoli's conclusions[edit]

According to Linoli's study, the flesh is human cardiac tissue of type AB, the most uncommon blood type in the world.[5] He said he found proteins in the blood, in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of normal blood. Linoli found no trace of preservatives.[4]

Subsequent handling[edit]

The Basilian monks kept custody of the elements until their departure in 1175. They were succeeded by Benedictine monks in 1176. The items were placed in different locations within the Church of St. Francis at Lanciano. They were kept in the Valsecca Chapel from 1636 until 1902 when they were relocated to a new altar.[citation needed]

When he was Cardinal of Kraków, Pope John Paul II visited the Church of St Francis in Lanciano.[6]

As of 2012, the relics of this miracle reside in the Church of San Francesco, Lanciano in Corso Roma.[1]

Pictures and documents[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://visitabruzzo.altervista.org/en/2012/12/church-of-san-francesco-lanciano/
  2. ^ a b c d Saunders, William. The Miracle of Lanciano, "Straight Answers", Arlington Catholic Herald, September 7, 2000
  3. ^ a b "Physician Tells of Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano". Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  4. ^ a b "The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano". Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  5. ^ https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types.html
  6. ^ Pope John Paul II, "Letter To Archbishop Carlo Ghidelli Of Lanciano-Ortona (Italy)", October 4, 2004, Vatican


Coordinates: 42°13′48″N 14°23′24″E / 42.23000°N 14.39000°E / 42.23000; 14.39000