Do you believe in miracles?
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Cornwall is showcasing 153 of them through Sunday April 11, hosting the Vatican International Exhibit of the Eucharistic Miracles of the World.
The exhibit is famously known for being created and designed by Blessed Carlo Acutis, a Catholic teen who categorized the miracles on a website before his death from leukemia in 2006. He was beatified on October 10, 2020.
The extraordinary display features 170 panels arranged alphabetically by the country in which the miracle took place, and spans the length and width of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Center. Full-color panels are filled with photos, renderings and historical information about each miracle.
The exhibit is open to the public daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through Sunday April 11, and is free of charge.
Witness these and dozens of other miracles of the Real Presence of Jesus:
- Sokólka Poland, 2008: Pathologists analyze samples of what appears to be blood on a host that was accidentally dropped during Holy Communion. The scientists discover that the stain is not blood, but rather heart muscle tissue.
- Betania, Venezuela, 1991: A priest celebrating Mass witnesses the host bleeding. The host is currently exposed for Adoration, where it continues to draw pilgrims.
- Paris, France, 1290: A non-believer stabbed a consecrated host and threw it in boiling water. The host hovered above the water and took the shape of a cross.
“These miracles serve as a reminder of the blessing we have in the Eucharist,” Father Rodrigo Arrazola, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, said of the exhibit.
The idea to bring the exhibit to Sacred Heart stemmed from the parish’s Legion of Mary, which typically conducts in-home visits for evangelization and prayer. Unable to participate in these efforts because of COVID-19, the Praesidium at Sacred Heart thought the exhibit would be a way of bringing people to the parish.
MaryAnn Wertz, president of the parish’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Praedisium of the Legion of Mary, and Patty Robbins, a new member at Sacred Heart, helped facilitate the exhibit at the parish. They joined volunteers in setting up the display, including rows of tables, tablecloths, table décor and 170 panels. The panels themselves were printed and assembled by Knights of Columbus in Lancaster, who downloaded the files from the website created by Blessed Carlo Acutis: www.miracolieucaristici.org.
“I was surprised by all the different and varied miracles – instances where someone would drop the Eucharist and try to dispose of it, but it would become illuminated, or where a priest would feel a jolt or shock during the consecration,” Wertz said. “There are miracles where the host would be dropped and the parish would try to dissolve it in a glass of water, and the host would begin to ooze blood. A couple of times, it would be discovered to be current heart muscle.”
Perusing the exhibit on a quiet morning earlier this week, Father Arrazola pointed to a Eucharistic miracle that particularly spoke to him.
It is the message received by St. Margaret Mary in France in the 17th century, containing the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“Naturally, that touches me because this is Sacred Heart Parish,” Father Arrazola said. “In the message, Jesus revealed the graces linked to this devotion. Love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus is directly tied to love for the Eucharist,” he read from the panel.
“When you pray in front of Jesus Christ, you realize He is here, He is real,” Father Arrazola said. “Sometimes I go to Him in silence, without saying a word. Other times, it’s about listening to His voice inside of me and what he wants. You place your trust in Jesus in the Eucharist, and see Him working within you.”
The Exhibit of the Eucharistic Miracles has attracted several dozen visitors to Sacred Heart this week, including parishioners from Sacred Heart and nearby parishes, Wertz pointed out.
“We also had a Protestant family from Mount Gretna come through, and they were very impressed by the exhibit. We went to the Methodist church down the street, and the pastor there spread the word to the congregation,” she said. “I’ve been impressed how all the people have come in with such interest and ask so many questions.”
Father Arrazola said it has been particularly fitting to host the exhibit from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday.
“We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which means that he defeated death and sin for all the world. As a pastor, it is a blessing to have this exhibit here during this time. It’s a time of celebration for us, and we can do it even more with the exhibit,” he said.
“Come and see the miracles of the Eucharist,” he encouraged. “If you look through the panels, you will see the reality. There will be no doubt of the Real Presence of Jesus, and He is here with us,” he said.
(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness