Italy is a destination for many pilgrims seeking out the sites of miracles tied to their religious faith. The cradle of Catholicism, Italy is a place that traditionally preserves its memories of prodigious and often scientifically-inexplicable events. However, these phenomena are recognized by the Ecclesiastical Authorities, for their predominant connection to the sacraments and to the hagiography of the Catholic religion.
The Bel Paese is the location for dozens of miracles recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, which have become ideals of veneration and the motivation for the pilgrimage of the faithful. Many Christians believe in the Eucharist, which in the Catholic and several Protestant Churches represents the sacrament established by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper, on the vigil of the Passion.
The Eucharist presupposes the presence of Christ and reminds of his sacrifice in the name of humanity; the Eucharistic prayer and the operation of the Holy Spirit are the means to transubstantiation, or the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
During the Eucharist, taking the host and wine – the Holy Sacrament - on a quotidian basis is not a miracle in itself, as in their form and substance they remain unaltered. Rather, in Church history numerous Eucharistic Miracles have been documented; in these special cases, the physical transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ has been witnessed.
Such miraculous events have often been verified in masses given by priests that doubted in particular the presence of the Body of the Lord in the consecrated host – some of these cases include that of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, of Trani, and in several events of sacrilegious theft of the host from the Church. Other Eucharistic Miracles refer to the miraculous preservation of the Sacramental bread, for instance when it has remained intact after fires (e.g. the Eucharistic Miracle of Florence).
Etymology for the Term Eucharist
The term Eucharist, which means Holy Communion, derives from (εὐχαρίστω), Greek for "I give thanks," an expression of thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for his sacrifice to humanity. For Christians, the Eucharist is the Sacrament established by Jesus during the Last Supper, on the eve of his passion and death.
Explore the Eucharistic Miracles through our itinerary of North-Central Italy
Explore the Eucharistic Miracles through our itinerary of South-Central Italy