On March 13, 2013, white smoke billowed out from the chimney of the historical Sistine Chapel and went into the air to enunciate that the world had received a new Pope, the 266th since St. Peter, the Apostle who’s said to have been the first Pope.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the one the spirit of God had favored.
When he is seen driving in low profile cars and dining with the homeless, it all looks unlike the conventional way of doing the business of papacy. But maybe the world is just too adamant to admit that he’s really different, and among all the called, elected to be a man of God – commissioned to answer the world’s questions.
His disposition as a cardinal, back in Buenos Aires is indeed no different from who has come to be known as the People’s Pope. In 2015, Pope Francis landed on the US soil for his first time ever. In a gesture that did not surprise – but rather delighted his avid following – His Holiness Pope Francis decided he would eat lunch with the homeless instead of elected officials following his address to Congress.
We’re now familiar with Pope Francis, the compassionate, cheery and benevolent. He’s in human flesh, the exemplification of the character of Christ. However, the less publicized side of the current Pope is with how he gave new understanding or at least a deeper inference to the rather obscure meaning to the myth embedded in the ritual of Holy Communion when he approved a miracle.
Well, the setting is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at a Parish under the auspices of Pope Francis. Then Cardinal Bergoglio. The year is 1996.
At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires.
As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6.
They clearly show that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret.
Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.
On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA.
Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells.
This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”
As Uganda prepares to host the Holy Father in November, it should occur to the community of the faithful that he has not only lived an exemplary life but he has also stuck himself out to defend the authenticity of the word of God and eliminate all the mystery in the Christian/Catholic doctrine.
The weakening of faith in the real presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist is one of the most significant aspects of the current spiritual crisis. Jesus wants to strengthen our faith in His Eucharistic presence.
That is why from time to time in the history of the Catholic Church He gives signs–Eucharistic miracles that clearly underscore the fact that He, the Risen Lord Himself in the mystery of His Divinity and glorified humanity, is truly present in the Eucharist.