The Sacrament of Holy Communion

726. THE SACRILEGIOUS JEW.-----In the year 1290, a poor woman lived in Paris, who, in order to purchase some food, pawned her cloak for thirty pence in a Jew's shop. Some days before Easter she entreated the Jew to lend it to her, that she might be able to repair to church to comply with her Easter duty. "With pleasure," said the Jew; "I shall not even require it back, if you bring me a little of the bread which you call your God: I wish to see if it be God." The woman agreed, and then went to receive the Paschal Communion. When the Holy Communion had been given her, she, without being perceived, concealed the sacred Host, and brought it, according to agreement, to the Jew. When he received it he placed it on the table, cut it with a penknife, and immediately blood flowed from it. His wife became very much alarmed, and made every effort to prevent him from proceeding further in the work of blasphemy. But he would not be restrained. He now forced into the Host a nail, and it bled again. This extraordinary occurrence amazed the Jew, and he withdrew in the greatest astonishment. In the meantime his son, who had just gone out, said to some boys whom he saw going to church, that there was no use in going to adore their God, as his father had just killed Him. A woman who was then passing by, hearing the jest from the boy, entered the house, beheld the sacred Host, which was still hovering around the place, and when she appeared, descended into ST. CLARE WITH THE HOLY EUCHARISTa small vessel which she carried in her hand. The woman at once took it to the church, and placed it in the hands of the priest. The Bishop of Paris, being informed of what had taken place, ordered the Jew to be arrested, who, confessing his crime, received the punishment which he merited. The Jew's wife and children became Catholics, and were Baptized. The miraculous Host was preserved with the greatest care at the Church of St. John-of-Grève, where it was to be seen previous to the Revolution. In the year 1295, a citizen of Paris built an oratory, called the miraculous chapel, on the site where stood the sacrilege.-----Fleury

733. S. CLARE PROTECTED.-----Frederick II was attacking the town of Assisi, with an army composed of the lowest ranks of society, and many were infidels. Near the gate of the city stood a convent of nuns, governed by the holy abbess S. Clare. This was the first place these ruffians attacked. They placed ladders against the walls and prepared to ascend, and it seemed as if in a few moments the spouses of Christ would fall into the hands of those wicked men. But Jesus was there to help His servants. In this extremity S. Clare called together her nuns, and going into the chapel, she, by an inspiration from Heaven, caused the ciborium containing the Sacred Body of Our Lord to be carried to the place where the men were already beginning to ascend; then with her eyes raised up towards it, she said: "O my beloved Jesus, save Thy servants whom Thou hast brought hither to serve Thee, and whom Thou dost so often nourish with Thy precious Body." Her prayer ended, she was interiorly admonished that the protection of Heaven was over her. The soldiers were struck blind, and a panic arose amongst them; they all took to flight as though pursued by an immense army.-----Her Life: Aug. 12

737. S. JULIANA.-----S. Juliana Falconieri, a holy virgin who lived in the thirteenth century, was distinguished for her extraordinary devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In her last illness she earnestly desired to receive Him in the Holy Viaticum, but on account of the continued sickness to which she was subject, it was considered impossible to comply with her pious desire. Moved, however, by her earnest entreaties, her confessor brought into her presence the Sacred Host, that she might have at least the consolation of adoring Our Lord and receiving His last blessing. No sooner did she perceive the object of her ardent affection, than in a transport of love, forgetting her extreme weakness, she cast herself on the ground to adore her God. Then with many tears she asked as a last favor that, since she could not receive Jesus Sacramentally, His most Sacred Body might be laid upon her breast, that her heart might be refreshed by the near presence of Him Whom she so ardently loved. Her confessor, moved by her tears and entreaties, granted her request, and a corporal having been spread upon the breast of the dying virgin, the Blessed Sacrament was placed upon it in the immediate neighborhood of her heart. Scarcely had the priest laid the Sacred Host on the chaste bosom of Juliana, than, overcome by the sweetness of Our Lord's presence, and languishing with love, she cried out, "Oh, my sweet Jesus!" and expired.-----Her Life: June 19

  738. S. LOUIS.-----This saintly King, seized with a fatal illness, immediately turned his thoughts to God, to prepare for death. When holy Viaticum was brought to him, he raised himself up to adore it, and received it with an abundance of tears which testified to the fervor and tenderness of his love.-----His Life: Aug. 25

759. BLESSED THOMAS MORE, AS ACOLYTE.-----Blessed [NOW A SAINT] Thomas More, the celebrated Lord Chancellor of England, took great delight in serving Mass, and though his time was much taken up with affairs of State, frequently served several in succession. Upon one occasion a certain courtier, sadly deficient in lively faith, represented to him that King Henry would be displeased at his lowering himself to fulfill the office of a mere acolyte. "Surely," replied the chancellor, "the king cannot be displeased at the homage which I offer to his King."-----The Hidden Treasure