The 1996 Eucharistic Miracle at St. Mary Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A communicant discarded their Consecrated Host in the back of the church rather than consume it, perhaps because it had fallen on the ground. One of the faithful found the discarded Host on a candlestick holder, and reported it to the priest, Fr. Alejandro Pezet, who took the usual measures to reverently return the Host to nature. He retrieved the Host, placed it in the Tabernacle submerged in a container of water so that the Host, which was likely not safe to consume, would dissolve. So long as the accidents of the Consecrated bread and wine remain, so does the Real Presence of Christ, but the Presence is withdrawn when the accidents naturally dissipate.

 Fr. Pezet returned after six days to retrieve the water into which the Host should have dissolved, so that it could be returned to nature. Instead, what he found was bleeding flesh, which had expanded in size from that of the Host. He reported the phenomenon to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires—the future Pope Francis—who advised him to have professional photos taken and to keep silent on the matter until further advised. Fr. Pezet did so, but several years later, the flesh and blood were still in good condition. So in 1999, Archbishop Bergoglio (Pope Francis) authorized Dr. Ricardo Castanon to have the flesh and blood analyzed. Dr. Castanon is a former atheist who converted to Catholicism because of prior encounters with miraculous phenomena that he was called upon to analyze.

Dr. Castanon found Dr. Fredereic Zugiba of New York, a highly respected cardiologist, forensic pathologist, and biochemist known for his expertise in determining cause of death, and had the sample sent to him for analysis without telling him where it had come from or what it was thought to be. Dr. Zugiba examined the sample and concluded that it was tissue from the human heart (myocardium of the left ventricle) and that the blood was type AB human blood from the same body. Furthermore, based on the large presence of many blood cells which cannot typically survive after death, he concluded that the person from whom the sample was taken likely suffered traumatic blows to the chest and may even have been alive when the heart tissue was removed. The cells even appeared to be pulsing as if in a live person. Dr. Zugiba said to Dr. Castanon, “How did you take out the heart of a dead man and took [sic] it alive to me to my New York lab?”

Only after giving this analysis, Dr. Zugiba was told the source of the sample: a consecrated Eucharistic Host. Dr. Castanon then contacted Dr. Linoli, who had analyzed the samples from the miracle of Lanciano, to compare the results. They matched exactly. Dr. Linoli and Dr. Castanon are also convinced that the flesh and blood found in the Eucharistic miracles in Buenos Aires and in Lanciano—and also the blood from the Shroud of Turin—are miraculous in origin and are from the same person of middle eastern descent—namely, Jesus Christ. Eucharistic miracles, though not part of the Church’s public revelation binding on all the faithful, are gifts from God that lift the veil for us with regard to the unswerving Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in every Eucharist. Jesus gives himself as the lifeblood of our souls and of the Church. His Body and his Blood are now ours, as with a family bloodline. As  St. Joan of Arc said, “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they are just one thing and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”