THE MIRACLE OF THE EUCHARIST
– Santarem, Portugal
Around the year 1225 there was a woman living in Santarem, who was very
unhappy with her marriage. She was convinced that her husband did not love
her, and was unfaithful. After many prayers and no relief from her
problems, she turned to a sorceress for help.
The sorceress promised the wife that her husband would return to his loving
ways, if the wife would bring her a Consecrated Host.
The woman was aware of the grave offense to God, and was frightened with
the prospect of committing a horrible sacrilege but unfortunately gave in
to temptation. She went to Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, and received
Communion, but did not consume the Host. Instead, she left the Church
immediately, and took the Host out of her mouth, putting It into her veil.
As she headed for the sorceress’ cave, the first miracle occurred. Within
moments, blood began to issue from the host. The amount of blood was such
that it soon dripped from the cloth and attracted the attention of
bystanders who asked if she needed assistance. Becoming even more
frightened by the unexpected turn of events, she hurried home instead of
the sorcerer’s cave, and put the veil with the host in a wooden chest in
The second miracle took place that very night when both she and her husband
were awakened by a mysterious light penetrating through the wooden chest.
The woman then confessed her sin to her husband and they both spent the
remainder of the night on their knees in adoration. The following morning,
the parish priest was informed and people rushed to the house to
contemplate the Holy Miracle. The priest brought the host back to the
church in solemn procession, placed it in a small case of wax; and
deposited it in the tabernacle. A Church investigation was promptly
A third miracle occurred later when the priest opened the tabernacle door
and found the wax container had broken into small pieces. In its place was
a beautiful crystal pyx with the blood of the host inside. The pyx is
approximately 1/2″ thick and 2″ in diameter, crystalline clear and with a
small protrusion on the side that contains the largest collection of blood.
It is irregularly shaped crystal through which can be seen the real flesh
with delicate veins running from top to bottom and a quantity of blood
which is collected at one end.
It was later placed in a gold and silver pear-shaped monstrance with a
sunburst of 33 rays where it remains today. The reliquary that houses the
miraculous Host rests above the tabernacle, and can be viewed atop a set of
stairs from behind the main altar.
After the investigation and approval by the Church authorities, the Church
of St. Stephen was renamed “The Church of the Holy Miracle.” The little
house where the miracle occurred was on Via delle Stuoie in Santarem.
From the time of the miracle until now, every year, on the Second Sunday of
April, the incident is re-enacted by local actors. The actual Eucharistic
Miracle is processed from the house, which was converted into a Chapel in
1684, to the Church. Miraculously, after 750 years, the precious blood
still remains in liquid form, defying the natural laws of science. The Host
is somewhat irregularly shaped, resembling real flesh with delicate veins
running from top to bottom, where a quantity of blood is collected in the
This case, along with many other Eucharistic miracles, gives witness to the
real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Please view the following articles and prayer cards regarding the Holy
“Prayers to the Blessed Sacrament” prayer card
(http://olrl.org/pray/ihs.shtml) – 3 cents ea.;
“The Exorcism of Nicola Aubrey” (http://olrl.org/stories/exorcism.shtml);
“Miracles of Lourdes” (http://olrl/org/stories/lourdes.shtml)
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