First Published in 1868.
TAN Books and Publishers
Imprimatur, 1867

This page is dedicated by the Web Master to Fr. Gilbert Patenaude, who as a newly ordained priest, risked his life to save the Blessed Sacrament when flames engulfed the church of his first parish assignment in the Diocese of Portland, Maine. Father died in 2099 at the age of 89.

Additional Examples Relating To the Real Presence

1. Padbert relates that a certain priest named Plegile asked of our Saviour the favor to be permitted to see Him with his bodily eyes in the Holy Eucharist. As this request did not proceed from unbelief, but rather from an ardent love, it was granted. One day during Mass this pious priest knelt down after the Consecration and besought Our Lord anew to grant his request. An Angel then appeared to him and bade him arise. He raised his head and saw our Divine Saviour in the form of an infant. Full of joy and reverence, he begged Our Lord to conceal Himself again under the Sacramental species, and immediately the Holy Eucharist assumed its usual appearance. This miracle was also witnessed by many other persons. (P. Favre).

2. The Abbé Favre also relates a miracle which took place at Turin in the year 1453 during the pontificate of Nicholas V. One night a thief entered one of the churches of the city and stole the sacred vessels. He then loaded his horse with the sacred burden and attempted to leave the city at daybreak, but his horse fell on its knees, and with all his efforts the thief could not make it rise. The people at length began to suspect something, so they took off the burden from the horse and found, to their horror, the sacred vessels. A consecrated Host which had remained in the ciborium rose into the air to the height of about sixty feet.

The Bishop, hearing of this fact, went in procession to the place, accompanied by a great multitude. As soon as he arrived there, the holy Host descended into the chalice which he held in his hand and was carried to St. John's Cathedral. A splendid church was erected on the spot in which this great miracle happened, and on the balustrade the following inscription is still to be seen: Hic stetit equus. ("Here the horse stopped"). This miracle is still annually commemorated by a festival kept throughout the whole diocese and by a solemn procession in the city of Turin. God was pleased to work this miracle to confirm the faith of the people against the errors of the Hussites and Albigenses, who were then ravaging that part of Italy.

A few years ago, during one of these annual processions, another miracle took place which is too remarkable to be omitted. An impious barber had the impertinence to ridicule a person, whom he was shaving, for wishing to assist at this procession. He then went into the street in order to insult the Catholics and to ridicule the Blessed Sacrament. He kept his hat on and would not take it off, though repeatedly ordered to do so. But behold! The moment that the Blessed Sacrament passed by him, he was struck by the Divine Justice and fell to the ground a corpse. This event made such an impression on the whole city that the commissary caused the body of the impious man to be exposed before the courthouse for thirty-six hours. A great many of the eyewitnesses of this fact are still living, among others, M. Raet, formerly Rector of Plancherine in the diocese of Chauberg, who was staying at Turin when this melancholy occurrence took place.

3. In 1369, the following incident occurred in the Netherlands. A Jew of Enghien named Jonathas, prefect of the synagogue, persuaded a Jew of Brussels named John de Louvain, who was apparently converted to Christianity, to bring him some consecrated Hosts. The latter, urged on by the promise of a large sum of money, entered one night the church of St. John the Baptist at Malembeck, which was situated without the city, took the ciborium containing fifteen Hosts and gave it to Jonathas.

This wicked Jew now began to offer every imaginable indignity and outrage to our Blessed Lord in the mystery of His love. A few days after this occurrence, Jonathas was murdered. His wife, considering his death to be a just chastisement of God and fearing lest she might be punished in a similar manner, went to Brussels and gave the ciborium, with the Hosts, to some Jews, who preserved them till Good Friday of the year 1370. On this day they treated the sacred Hosts with every kind of indignity. At last they pierced them, and immediately miraculous blood began to flow from them. These impious wretches were so terrified at this sight that they fell to the ground. On recovering from their terror, they resolved to send the Hosts to the Jews of Cologne. A woman named Catherine was charged with this commission. She, however, full of fear and remorse of conscience, carried the Hosts to her parish priest at Aix-la-Chapelle and gave him an account of all that had happened. The priest then informed the duke and duchess of the whole affair. The impious Jews were arrested and tried, and having been fully convicted of the crime, they suffered the punishment they so justly deserved. This happened on the eve of Ascension Day, 1370. This history is recorded in the archives of the city of Brussels. The sacred Hosts are still preserved in the church of St. Gudule in the same city. There are also several pictures in this church representing this event.

4. The following miracle is related by St. Francis de Sales: In a certain church in the town of Favernay in France, the Blessed Sacrament was once exposed on a side altar to the adoration of the faithful. During the exposition, a spark happening to fall from one of the lighted tapers set the altar on fire. In a short time everything was destroyed-----even the repository in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept was consumed. The Blessed Sacrament itself, however, remained in its place, and when the priest endeavored to carry it to the high altar, he found that he could not. move it. He then began to celebrate Mass, and when he came to the Consecration, the Host came of its own accord to the high altar and remained there till after the Communion, when it returned to its former place and remained suspended in the air as before. This miracle was repeated for several years in succession. St. Francis de Sales says that he himself made a pilgrimage to the place in order to witness this miracle.

5. In the year 1563, a Lutheran nobleman in the city of Erford ridiculed the Blessed Sacrament as it was carried in procession by the Rev. Father Th. Baumeier. "Behold," said he, "what a ridiculous thing that old man is carrying!" No sooner had he uttered these words than he fell speechless to the ground. Dr. J. Hebenstreit was instantly called in, but pronounced him beyond recovery. A few days after, the nobleman was a corpse. (William of Gent).

6. Many facts of the kind have occurred even in our own day. The three following are related on the authority of ecclesiastics who were inhabitants of the places in which they occurred: There lived at Wittem, near Aix-la-Chapelle, a pious person who was accustomed to see Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament whenever she assisted at Mass. Now, one day she did not behold Our Lord as usual. She went, therefore, to the priest after Mass and said: "Rev. Father, you have committed such and such a fault, and this is why I did not as usual see Jesus Christ during your Mass?' The priest was filled with surprise at these words, as he knew that what she said was true.

7. In Holland, a church was set on fire. Among those present was an old man who rushed boldly into the flames in order to take away the Blessed Sacrament. Immediately the flames divided before him and left him a passage to the high altar. He then took down the Blessed Sacrament and carried it away without receiving the slightest injury. A painting representing this miraculous occurrence is still to be seen in the church in which it took place.

8. About thirty years ago, on the feast of Corpus Christi, several of the citizens of Duren, near Aix-la-Chapelle, were sitting together in an inn fronting on the great marketplace, when the solemn procession of the Most Holy Sacrament passed by. Among those present was the son of the burgomaster. Now, as the priest gave the benediction with the Blessed Sacrament at the altar that had been erected in the square, this young man held up a silver dollar in his hand and mimicked the sacred ceremony. In a few days the very arm with which he had committed this crime began to mortify; the mortification soon extended to the shoulder; and after a short time, the unhappy man died. Moreover, from this moment the blessing of God forsook his house; several of his family died, and the rest sunk into poverty and disgrace.

9. The three following instances will be of special interest, as they have happened in this country. In the year 1824, Mrs. Ann Mattingly, of Washington, D.C., was miraculously cured of a severe illness in the following manner: She had been suffering from
a dangerous cancer for seven years. Every remedy was tried, but in vain; the disease was incurable. She lost the use of her left arm; her back and shoulders became ulcerated in consequence of her long confinement to her bed; and the symptoms of approaching dissolution began to appear. In this state, finding that all natural means were unavailing, she had recourse to God. In concert with Prince Hohenlohe and her pastor, the Rev. Stephen L. Dubuisson, she began a novena in honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, and at the end of the novena she received the Blessed Sacrament. When she was about to receive Holy Communion, believing that the time had come when she must either die or be restored to health, she uttered these words: "Lord Jesus! Thy holy will be glorified." Her tongue was so rough and parched from fever that she was unable to swallow the Host for five or six minutes, but the moment she swallowed it, all pain instantly left her; her body was entirely healed, and she found herself in perfect health. She immediately arose and dressed herself, and after having knelt down to give thanks to God, she received hundreds of visitors who came to congratulate her and to witness the miracle. These facts are all attested by a number of competent witnesses, and anyone who desires to examine the evidence can find a full statement of the case in the works of Bishop England.

10. At the burning of the Ursuline Convent near Charlestown, Massachusetts, when the nuns were driven from their cloister at the hour of midnight by a fanatical mob, one of the ruffians had the hardihood to open the tabernacle, and seizing the sacred vessels, he poured into the pocket of a companion the consecrated Hosts which they contained. The latter, on his way back to Charlestown, treated the sacred particles with the most atrocious irreverence, and even jestingly offered them to a tavern-keeper in payment for the liquor he had drunk. He then returned home and related to his wife an account of the night's proceedings. Shortly afterwards he went into the yard, but as he did not return, the family became uneasy and sought for him everywhere. After searching for sometime they found him a ghastly corpse. He had died the death of Arius. This fact was related by the late Bishop Fenwick of Boston.  [Arius was the wicked priest of Alexandria who concocted the heresy named after him, Arianism, which taught that the Son was not the equal of the Father-----he was most impious and had many followers. One day he withdrew from Church ceremonies to attend to urgent matters of nature and he was found dead, burst asunder!-----the Web Master.]

11. The Rev. Anthony Urbanek, who in the years 1847 and 1848 exercised the functions of the holy ministry in the city of Milwaukee in the State of Wisconsin, gave the following account of a wonderful conversion wrought by the recital of the "Hail Mary": He frequently visited a Protestant family by the name of Pollworth, natives of Hanover, but then residing a few hours drive from Milwaukee. After a short time Mrs. Pollworth joined the Catholic Church, but her husband remained obstinate and would often say that he would never become a Catholic. He would not even allow his children to be Baptized, although his wife resorted to every possible means to obtain his consent. All who knew him used to say it would require nothing less than a miracle to make a Catholic of Pollworth.

The priest continued his visits, and their conversation generally fell upon the truths of Catholicity. But every effort to convince Mr. Pollworth was in vain; he had always a thousand objections to present. On one of these visits, after having long and uselessly endeavored to open the eyes of his headstrong friend to the truth of the Catholic Faith, Rev. Mr. Urbanek at last said to him: "I see well, Mr. Pollworth, that I can do nothing with you?" At that moment the good priest was suddenly inspired with a feeling of extraordinary confidence in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, and continuing to address Mr. Pollworth, he added: "But you must, at least, promise me one thing?" "What may that be?" asked his friend in the low German dialect. "I will tell you after you will have promised it," answered Rev. Mr. Urbanek. "It is not difficult, and you can conscientiously do it?" After a good deal of argument, Mr. Pollworth finally promised to do what might be asked of him. "Then," said the priest, "say on every Sunday henceforth one 'Hail Mary' for my intention, and you will in a short time experience a great change in your feelings." Mr. Pollworth laughed at these words, but he kept his promise faithfully. About fourteen days after the promise was made, he suddenly accosted his wife thus: "I am going to Milwaukee now to buy some new clothes for the children." The astonished wife asked: "But why at this time so particularly?" "Well, I have at last made up my mind to let the children be Baptized," was his reply. The news spread like wildfire through the entire neighborhood. "Pollworth has, at length, consented to have his children Baptized," was in everyone's mouth.

Moreover, he begged the Rev. Mr. Urbanek to have the ceremony performed with the greatest solemnity. His request was granted. The Rev. Pastor invited another priest and two clerics to assist at the Baptism, which took place before High Mass. After Mass, the Most Blessed Sacrament was exposed and the hymn Pange Lingua sung by the choir. The newly Baptized children stood close to the altar steps and their father immediately behind them. During the singing of the hymn, it suddenly occurred to Mr. Pollworth to look at the Blessed Sacrament, but being forced by the immense crowd that was pressing towards the sanctuary to stand if he would not kneel upon his children, he feared lest a free glance at the Sacred Host might have the appearance of irreverence. However, he was not long able to resist the inclination. He looked towards the altar and saw the Sacred Host as it always is, but it soon increased to the size of a mill-stone, and in the center of it there appeared the Good Shepherd with a lamb upon His shoulders. This sight did not perplex the man: he wished to convince himself of what he seemed to see. He accordingly closed one eye for awhile and thus looked at the apparition, and then again with both eyes, until he was fully satisfied that there was no illusion in the matter. Besides, it was a clear noon-day, and he was standing scarcely two steps from the altar.

After the lapse of about five minutes, the vision disappeared, and the Sacred Host resumed its original appearance. On leaving the church, Pollworth asked some of his neighbors whether they had. seen nothing singular during the divine service, but when he perceived that they knew nothing of the apparition, he said no more. The next day he invited the priest to pay him a visit, and as soon as Rev. Mr. Urbanek entered the house, Pollworth said: "Now, indeed, is the lost sheep at last found, after its long straying among the briars. I wish to become a Catholic." A few days later he was received into the Church, and after he had made his Profession of Faith, he solemnly attested by oath to the truth of the vision above related. On the same day a bigoted Calvinist was Baptized. Upon the simple assurance of Mr. Pollworth of what had taken place, he had been converted. The Right Rev. Bishop granted to the congregation of the church in which the wonder had taken place the privilege of having, on every 16th of July, the day of the apparition, a solemn procession with the Blessed Sacrament, exactly as on Corpus Christi. Pollworth and his family always go to Holy Communion on this day.

12. Towards the close of the last century, there lived a very impious man in Rottweil, a little town of Swabia, Germany. One day, when in the most solemn procession of Corpus Christi, the Blessed Sacrament passed by the house of this impious wretch, he had the diabolical audacity to scoff at the Blessed Sacrament in a most horrid manner. He placed himself before the window in his shirt sleeves, with his butcher's apron on and a white nightcap on his head. By appearing in this unbecoming dress, he wished to show his contempt and disrespect to the Holy Eucharist.

What was still worse, as the Blessed Sacrament passed by him, he spat upon it. Only a few persons noticed his impiety; otherwise, it would have been immediately revenged. But what men failed to do God was not slow in accomplishing. This blasphemer soon after died the death of a reprobate.

This, however, was not all. The dreadful scandal which he had given and which had become generally known and the outrage which he had offered the Divine Majesty required a public act of reparation. God made use of the following means to effect this: Immediately after the death of this impious man, such horrible noises, such frightful groanings, lamentations and howlings were heard in his house that no one could stand it any longer. Every person easily guessed the cause of it; the difficulty was, how to remove it. At last, as if inspired by God, they had recourse to the following expedient: It was resolved that this man's portrait should be painted in the same dress and posture in which he had appeared, to scoff at the Blessed Sacrament, and that the painting should be placed in the opening of the wall, instead of the window, in order to show to all who should pass by how God punishes the scoffers of the Blessed Sacrament. Strange to say, no sooner was this painting placed in the wall, than the house became quiet. Some years afterwards, the wife of a Protestant preacher who lived opposite could no longer bear the sight of this horrid portrait. Accordingly, her husband went to the Civil Magistrate to obtain an ordinance for the removal of the picture. His petition was granted, but no sooner was the painting removed than the former frightful scenes returned and continued until the alarmed people of the house obtained permission to restore the painting to its place. One of our Fathers related this event to me, as an eye-witness of the fact.

13. In a procession at Valencia, when Blessed Nicholas Fattori was carrying the Blessed Sacrament, all at once a flock of birds came and formed a crown just above the canopy, singing most melodiously and steadily accompanying the procession, their warbling notes harmonizing beautifully with the ecclesiastical chant. When afterwards he was asked about this, he answered with a smile that they were Angels who came from Heaven to honor their Divine King. (His Life).

14. At the time when the modern heresies in relation to the Real Presence were arising, Our Lord was pleased to illustrate this doctrine by a miracle. A nobleman of Tyrol named Oswald Mulser, on coming to make his Paschal Communion, insisted on being communicated with a large host. This was an act of pride and unbelief, but the priest was induced through human respect to give him a large host instead of a small one, such as are ordinarily given; but in the very moment when the Host was placed on his tongue, the ground opened under his feet as if to swallow him. He had already sunk down to his knees when he seized hold of the altar, which yielded like wax to his hand. Seeing now the vengeance of God overtaking him, he repented of his pride and prayed for mercy. As God would not permit him to swallow the Sacred Host, the priest removed it and replaced it in the tabernacle. It was the color of blood. The author who records this, Tilman Bredenbach, says that he himself saw the Host tinged with blood, the altar bearing the impress of Oswald's hands and the ground into which he was sinking still hollow and covered with iron bars. Witnesses testify to these visible evidences of the miracle, even to the present day.

15. Three years ago one of our priests received a letter from his father in Treves, Germany. In this letter a very melancholy example was related that occurred in that city on the occasion of the solemn procession of Corpus Christi. When the procession passed by the house of a certain Protestant gentleman, his servant girl, who was a Catholic, said to her master: "O come and see the splendid procession and the faith of the Catholics." In answer to this invitation, the gentleman uttered a most horrible blasphemy against the Blessed Sacrament. No sooner had it left the blasphemous lips than he fell to the ground dead. The whole city looked upon this instantaneous death as an evident chastisement of God for the horrible crime of blasphemy.

16. "One day," said the Curé d'Ars, when, catechising the people, "two Protestant ministers who did not believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament came to me. I said to them:  'Do you think a piece of bread could detach itself and of its own accord go and place itself on the tongue of a person who came near to receive it?' 'No,' said they. 'Well, then, it is not bread.' " The saintly Curate then related the following fact: "There was a man who had doubts about the Real Presence, and he said: 'What do we know about it? It is not certain what Consecration is! What happens on the altar at that moment?' But this man wished to believe, and he prayed to the Blessed Virgin to obtain faith for him. Listen attentively to this: I do not say that this happened somewhere, but I say that it happened to myself. At the moment when this man came up to receive Holy Communion, the Sacred Host detached Itself from my fingers while I was yet a good way off, went of Itself and placed Itself upon the tongue of that man." (Spirit of the Curé d'Ars).

17. The same Cure relates also that a priest once, after Consecration, had some little doubt whether his few words could have made Our Lord descend upon the altar; at the same moment he saw the Host all red and the corporal tinged with blood.

18. Charles II, king of Spain, took a ride in his carriage at Madrid on the twentieth of January, 1685, accompanied by many personages of nobility and high rank and followed by a large concourse of the common people. Perceiving a priest approaching with the Blessed Sacrament, he quickly alighted from his carriage and knelt down to adore his Saviour in the Holy Eucharist, after which he begged the priest to take his place in the carriage. Taking his hat in his left hand and holding, like a coachman, the reins of the horses, he followed on foot with uncovered head to the house of the sick person. Here he again knelt down to adore his Lord and God in the Blessed Sacrament. He served the priest to the best of his power. Finally, he bestowed a rich present on the family in order that the sick man might die with less solicitude for those he was to leave behind him. (Bollandus).

19. It may excite surprise to hear that irrational animals can teach us lessons of reverence towards the Most Holy Sacrament, but such is the case. There are not a few instances on record which prove that the Divine Author of nature has been pleased sometimes so to direct the instinct of brutes that, by their behavior, they might confound the pride of heretics and infidels or awaken the devotion of lukewarm and indifferent Catholics.

In the life of St. Anthony of Padua, a very striking miracle is recorded. As Almighty God by the prophet Isaias proposed the docility of the ox and the ass as a rebuke to the stubbornness of the children of Israel, so in this instance He made use of a brute beast to reprove the folly of those who reject the mystery of the Real Presence. In the time of St. Anthony of Padua, there lived at Tolosa, a city of Spain, a very obstinate heretic, Bovillus by name, who denied the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Although St. Anthony compelled him to acknowledge interiorly the truth of this doctrine, he persisted obstinately in his heresy. At last he professed his willingness to believe, provided he should see a miracle wrought in proof of it. "What, then, do you desire?" St. Anthony asked. "I will," said the heretic, "keep my mule without food for three days; afterwards, I will bring him to you. On one side I will place food before him, and on the other side you shall stand with the Blessed Sacrament. In case the mule leaves the food and goes to you, I will believe that Jesus Christ is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament."

St. Anthony having agreed to the proposal, on the day appointed a great concourse of people was assembled together in the public square to see the issue. St. Anthony, after having said Mass, took the Blessed Sacrament and carried It with him to the square. Then, when the hungry animal had been brought near and food put before him, St. Anthony, holding in his hands the Blessed Sacrament, thus spoke: "In the name of my Creator, Whom I am not worthy to hold in my hands, I command thee to draw near and prostrate thyself before thy God, to give due honor to Him, that the heretics may learn from thee how they ought to worship their God in the Blessed Sacrament." And behold, no sooner had St. Anthony thus spoken than the mule left his food, went before the Blessed Sacrament, and bowed his head to the ground as if to adore it! At this sight, Bovillus and many other heretics were converted and professed their faith in the Real Presence.

20. St. Francis of Assisi, whose power over irrational creatures almost carries us back to the days of man's original innocence, was followed by a sheep wherever he went. This sheep went even into the church and during the time of Mass would keep very quiet until the Consecration, when it would kneel down as if to adore its Creator.

21. The most striking fact of this reverence shown by animals, and one which would seem almost incredible, if its truth were not vouched by such authors as John Eusebius and Stephen Menochius, is related of a baker's dog at Lisbon. This dog, without ever having been taught to do so, seemed to exhibit towards the Most Blessed Sacrament all that devoted fidelity which so often distinguishes the attachment of these animals to their masters. As soon as the bell rang to announce that the Blessed Sacrament was to be carried to the sick, he would run to the church, and lying down at the door, he would wait till the priest came out with the Blessed Sacrament, when he would join the procession, running from one side to the other, as if he was deputed to keep order. Once, the bell was rung about midnight. The dog instantly jumped up to go in all haste to the church, but the doors of the house being all locked so that he could not get out, he went to his master's room, whining and barking in order to awaken him, but not being successful, he went to another person, whom he pulled by his clothes to the door of the house and held on to him till he opened it. Once in Holy Week, he watched for twenty-four hours successively when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in the sepulchre. He would not permit the slightest indecorum in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and so long as he was in the church, no one dared to sit or stand.

On one occasion, as the Viaticum was being carried to a sick person, he found a peddler asleep on the roadside; he barked until the man awoke, uncovered his head and knelt while the Viaticum was passing. On another occasion he compelled a country woman, who was riding on an ass, to dismount and adore the Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes he was mistaken in the signal and would go to the church when the bell had rung for a funeral; in such cases he would return home immediately. No one, not even his master, was able to break him of this habit, and whether they tried to entice him with food or fastened him up, all was in vain. In the one case, he would snap at the meat once or twice, then as if fearing to be late, he would run off to the church. In the other case, he would howl so dreadfully that they were glad to release him. Thus has God been pleased to give us, through a creature devoid of understanding, a lesson in our duty.

22. There is no kind of miracle which, to our Catholic instincts, strikes us as less miraculous than a miracle wrought by the Blessed Sacrament. The miracles of our Blessed Lord in the Gospels, as compared to those of His Apostles and Disciples in the Acts of the Apostles, seem natural and obvious. Once acknowledge Our Blessed Lord's Divinity, and all distinction between the natural and the supernatural seems to cease in His regard, and miracles flow as the direct consequence of His Presence. In the same way, once grant the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and the wonder is that miracles are not of daily and hourly occurrence in our churches.

The word "miracle" is perhaps ill-selected to express what is here intended, since every offering of Holy Mass is in reality a far greater miracle than anything else in the world. Every Sacramental act of Holy Church is miraculous, inasmuch as it is supernatural. The supernatural order is as incidental to the ordinary working and life of the Church as the natural order is incidental to the government of the world. It is not the supernatural which is infrequent, but manifestations of the supernatural. These are only granted occasionally at rare intervals for the sake of encouragement or proof and generally as a reward for very deep and ardent faith. As the Archbishop of Westminster remarks in his prefatory commendation of this miracle, it is a manifestation of supernatural power to "confirm our consciousness of the operations of the Holy Ghost, both sacramental and miraculous, which like His presence, from which they flow, are perpetual in the Church."

The following miracle is introduced to us under the double warranty, so to speak, of the Curé of St. Martin at Metz, who narrates it, and the Bishop of Metz, who endorses the narrative with his imprimatur in the following words:

Bishop's Palace, Metz.

"Having considered the following narrative to be as edifying as we know it to be strictly conformable to truth, we have approved of its publication. It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more likely to awaken in the hearts of Christians earnest sentiments of faith, trust and love for Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar and to increase among us devotion to the Institution of the Perpetual Adoration than this simple recital of what took place in the Church of St. Martin during the religious services of that holy time. It would seem as if our Blessed Lord had wished to show by a signal favor how acceptable is this homage to His Divine Heart and had chosen for that token the sudden and miraculous cure of a young girl whose faith had led her to fall at His feet and to cry out with lively faith and humble confidence, 'Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole!' "

+ Paul, Bishop of Metz
At Metz, 8th September, 1865

The statement of the Curé carries conviction to every candid reader by the truthful simplicity of its style.

"At the age of thirteen, Ann de Clery, who was the daughter of a distinguished member of the magistrature, still living, was sent to school at the convent of the Sacred Heart at Metz. Soon after she first went to school, her health gradually decayed, and after several serious attacks, her malady assumed the form of the disease which her Paris physician described as 'muscular and atrophical paralysis.' For more than nine years she lingered in a state of infirmity, pronounced by one doctor after another as incurable. In 1859 her physician had declared that she would be a cripple as long as she lived. "From that time-----that is, from the middle of the year 1859 up to the present time-----Mlle. de Clery has not been attended by any physician. Her mother alone watched over her health. Her infirmities kept increasing. She could hardly digest any food. Her thinness and weakness were pitiable. Violent headaches, three or four times a week, added to her prostration of strength. She could not be laid on the bed or the couch without suffering intense pain, and at such moments a strange effect of these paroxysms was visible in her face. Her eyelids became inflamed and of a purple color; this gave to her countenance an indescribable appearance of suffering. Paralysis was beginning to affect her arms, the only limbs she had hitherto retained the use of. It was feared that she would soon lose the principal means of occupation and amusement within her reach-----the exercise of her skill in fancy works. The future prospects of this young lady seemed sad indeed to human prevision, but the time was at hand which God in His wisdom had fixed upon for the fulfillment of His merciful designs."

Her resignation to God's will was most complete. During several years, a priest brought her Holy Communion every week, and she spent her time in embroidering altar cloths or making artificial flowers for Corpus Christi.

She felt a great longing to be carried to the church of St. Martin for the forty hours' devotion, which was to take place on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of last June. The state of her health prevented the accomplishment of her wish until the third day.

"On the morning of the 14th of June, Ann received Communion in her bed. At twelve o'clock, which was the hour of adoration assigned by the parochial regulations to the inhabitants of the street in which the Hotel Coetlosquet is situated, she was carried to the church like a baby of a few months-----she, a woman of twenty-three years of age-----by her maid Clementine, who sat down on a bench on the left side of the nave and held her on her knees. Madame de Clery and Mlle. Therese de Coetlosquet knelt, the one by her side and the other on the bench behind, in order, as much as possible, to screen her from observation. Madame and Mlle. Paulin de Coetlosquet, who had preceded them, were kneeling in another part of the church. Neither the invalid herself nor any of her friends were expecting the extraordinary event about to take place.

"After a few moments' rest from the fatigue she had gone through and which was producing, as usual, a purple flush in her eyelids, Ann fixed her attention on the Blessed Sacrament; and after some instants' silent adoration, she said the prayer she often used at the moment of Communion: 'Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst cure me.' At the same instant, she felt so violent a pain in her whole body that it was all she could do not to scream out. She prayed earnestly for strength to bear it and then added: 'My God, if it is Thy Will that I should be carried back to my sick bed, give me grace at least to be always resigned to Thy Holy Will.'

"I cannot describe what then happened between God and her soul. She says she felt penetrated with faith and hope and, as she expresses it, became conscious that she was cured. She wanted to kneel. Her maid whispered to her: 'Mademoiselle, you will fall down? But Ann threw herself on her knees, and said to those about her: 'Pray, pray; I am cured!' These words filled them with astonishment; tears and sobs mingled with their prayers. Madame de Clery, overwhelmed with emotion, in a state of bewilderment, not knowing what to think or to believe, led her daughter out of the church. She could not credit the evidence of her senses when she saw her standing on her feet, and then walking only with the help of her arm.

"They went into a summer house in the adjacent garden, and there the poor mother, whose fears made her incredulous, ascertained that the knots under her daughter's knees had entirely disappeared. Ann entreated to be allowed to return to the church, where she remained for three quarters of an hour kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, without feeling the least tired and pouring forth praises and thanksgivings.

"When I was told what happened, I went to the summer house, but could not attend to any of the persons assembled around Ann. I could only look at her in silence and astonishment, while with intense gratitude to God she showed me that she could stretch out her limbs, walk, kneel, and hold up her head without effort. She was completely cured. God had done the work, and His work, accomplished in an instant, was perfect. All the ailments which had afflicted her had disappeared at the same time as the paralysis, and the weakness which follows long illness did not attend her recovery. Numerous proofs evinced it. The hour of vespers was at hand. Ann said she wished to be present at the service. Following the dictates of natural prudence-----for I was not certain how far, in restoring her health, God had also given back to her her strength-----I advised that she should rest, or at least if she were bent on coming to the church that day, that she should wait in the summer house till the time of Benediction. She complied with my request, but when the hymn Pange lingua, etc., resounded in her ears-----'Sing, my tongue, the mystery of the glorious Body of Christ'-----she could not sit still, and hastened to join the crowd which filled the church.

"The next day, which was the Feast of Corpus Christi, she heard a Mass in thanksgiving and went to Communion, kneeling at the altar among all the other communicants-----a happiness she had not enjoyed for nine years. She was present during the whole of the High Mass, which is celebrated every Thursday in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, and in the afternoon was again in the church, kneeling before the altar and pouring forth the expressions of her ardent thankfulness. Three days afterwards-----that is, on the Sunday on which the Feast of Corpus Christi is kept in France-----Ann spent seven hours in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, hearing Mass, attending Benediction, or visiting Our Lord at other times. When she was urged to moderate her devotion and to husband her strength, she replied that, far from feeling the least fatigue, she experienced an increase of strength and vitality whenever she approached our Blessed Lord."

23. Having received information from many persons of the wonderful occurrence which I am now going briefly to relate, says St. Alphonsus in his book, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, I endeavored to collect evidence sufficient to enable me to publish an account of it, and I first obtained a full relation of the fact written by a priest of the same town who was one of the eye witnesses of the miracle. But, not satisfied with this, I myself read the authentic process which was drawn up by the Archiepiscopal Court of Naples, by order of his eminence Cardinal Sersale, the present Archbishop. The process is very long, consisting of 364 pages-----a most careful investigation into the facts having been made by the officers of the court from the evidence of many priests and lay persons, all of whom, in perfect agreement, made their depositions on oath.

It happened, on the morning of the 28th of January in the past year 1772, at a place called S. Pietro a Paterno, in the diocese of Naples, that the tabernacle of the parish church in which the Blessed Sacrament was reserved was found open and that the two ciboria, a large and a small one, containing many Particles, had been taken away.

For several days the whole neighborhood was in the greatest distress and grief, and though the most diligent search was made, no tidings could be obtained either of the ciboria or of the Sacred Particles. At length, on Thursday, the 18th of February, a certain youth, Giuseppe Orefice, of about 18 years old, as he was passing in the evening near the property of the Duke of Grottolelle, saw a number of lights, which had the appearance of bright stars. The following evening, he saw the same thing, and on coming home, he told his father what he had seen. His father, however, would not believe him.

On the following day, about an hour before sunrise, the father was passing by the same spot, with Giuseppe and his brother Giovanni, a child of 11 years, who, turning to his father, said: "See, father, the lights of which Giuseppe spoke to you yesterday evening, and you would not believe him."

On the evening of the same day, the same boys, on coming home, again saw the lights in the same place. D. Girolamo Guarino, the confessor of Giuseppe Orefice, was then informed of it, who in company with his brother, D. Diego, also a priest, went to the spot where the lights had been seen, and meanwhile sent for Orefice, who on coming there with his brother and a person called Tomaso Piccino, again saw the lights; but at that time the priests saw nothing.

On the evening of Monday, the 23rd of February, Orefice returned to the spot with Piccino and a man named Carlo Marotta and met on the road two strangers, who stopped and asked them what those many lights were which they had just distinctly seen and which twinkled like stars? They replied that they did not know; and taking leave of the strangers, they ran in haste to mark the spot where they had seen the lights. As soon as they had marked the spot, which was distant a few steps from the hedge, and in which was a poplar tree higher than the rest of the trees, they went to find the two priests already mentioned, told them what had occurred and returned all together to the spot.

When they were all there, with a child of five years, nephew to the two priests, the child cried out, "See, there are the lights, which look like two candles." (Here we must observe that the lights did not always appear in the same manner.) At the same moment, Orefice saw these two lights and said they shone like two stars; Carlo and Tomaso also saw them, and three other children of Signor Guarino, close to the poplar already mentioned.

After this they heard the shouting of many people, who from a stack of straw which was on the property were begging the priest to come and see in the stack a great light in the appearance of a flame. In the meantime, a woman named Lucia Marotta threw herself with her face to the ground on the spot where the light was seen.

The priests and many other persons ran up and, having lifted up the woman, commenced to dig in the ground, but then they found nothing. The two brothers, Giuseppe Orefice, with Tomaso Piccino and Carlo Marotta, then returned to the town and, going along the Strada Regia, they heard the cries of those who had remained on the spot. Going back there, Piccino fell suddenly upon his face, and after a few steps, Giuseppe felt himself pushed forward on the shoulders, and he also at once fell to the ground. In the same way and at the same moment, the other two, Carlo Marotta and Giovanni, Giuseppe's brother, also fell; and all four felt their heads wounded, as if they had received a severe blow with a stick.

Having got up, they went forward a few steps; and both Giuseppe, as also Carlo, Tomaso, and Giovanni, saw a brilliant light as of the sun coming forth from beneath the poplar tree; and they all four saw rising out of this light, to about four or five feet in height, a dove, which was almost as brilliant as the light itself. The dove, however, gliding down into the earth at the foot of the poplar from which it came out, disappeared, as also did the light. What the dove signified is not known, but it appears certain that it was something supernatural, and all the persons already! mentioned gave evidence of the fact upon oath before the Vicar-General of Naples.

After this, remaining in the same place, they all cried out: "See, there are the lights!" And going on their knees, they began to seek for the Sacred Particles. While Piccino was scooping out the earth with his hands, they saw one Particle come out, white as paper. They then sent to call the priests. D. Diego Guarino came, and kneeling down, he took the Sacred Particle and put it in a white linen handkerchief, amid the tears and devotion of all the people, who wept bitterly. He then began to search more carefully, and having removed some more earth, he saw a group of about forty Particles appear, which had not lost their whiteness, although they had been buried for nearly a month from the time they were stolen. They were placed in the same handkerchief, and the earth in which they were found was also removed.

It being now rumored about, other priests of the place came to the spot, bringing with them a ciborium, cotta [surplice], stole, canopy and torches. In the meantime, a priest and a gentleman went to Monsignor the Vicar-General to know what was to be done. An order came that the Particles should be carried processionally to the church. They did so and arrived at the church about half-past eleven at night, when the particles were placed in the tabernacle.
This took place on the night of the 24th of February. The people were much consoled, but not fully so, because the greater part of the Particles, as was supposed, were still wanting.

But on the evening of the following Tuesday, the 25th, a small light, but very brilliant, was seen in the same place as at the first, by many persons, country people, gentlemen, as also by the priests D. Diego Guarino and D. Giuseppe Lindtner, who wrote for me an account of the whole affair, as I mentioned at the beginning. This priest, being much terrified, pointed to a mustard plant which was growing there, and cried out: "O Jesus, O Jesus! Look at the light there, look at it!" Upon which, the others also saw a most dazzling light, which rose about a foot and a half from the ground and formed itself on the top into the figure of a rose. Guiseppe Orefice, who was there, affirmed that the light was so brilliant that his eyes remained for some time dazzled and dimmed.

They began, therefore, to seek the remainder of the particles in that place, but found none; but on the evening of the following day, the 26th of February, a number of lights were seen round the stack of straw by three cavalry soldiers of the regiment called Borbone, Pasquale de S. Angelo of the diocese of Atri and Penne, Giuseppe Lanzano, and Angelo Di Costanzo of Acerra, who were all examined before the Archiepiscopal court. These deposed before Monsignor the Vicar-General that as they were riding round the royal villa of Caserta, where His Majesty the King then resided, they saw on the property above mentioned "several lights like shining stars." These are the very words of the soldiers as taken down in the process.

Moreover, on the same evening of the 26th, Signor D. Ferdinando Haam, a gentleman of Prague in Bohemia, Chancellor and Secretary for letters to the Embassy of His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, was returning from the city of Caserta at about nine at night, along the Strada Regia near to the above-mentioned property. He got down from his carriage to go and see the place where he had heard the stolen Particles had been found two days before. On arriving there, he found many persons, and among them the priest D. Giuseppe Lindtner, with whom he was acquainted, who told him the whole history, both of the sacrilege and of the miraculous discovery of the Particles.

Signor Haam, after having heard the priest, related that he also, eight or nine days before, on the 17th or 18th of the month, not having then heard either of the Particles that had been stolen or of the lights that had been seen, was passing by this place about nine at night and that he saw "a great number of lights amounting to about a thousand," and at the same time a number of persons who were standing in silence and with devotion round the lights. Being much frightened at what he saw, he asked the driver what those lights were; he replied that "perhaps they were accompanying the Most Holy Viaticum to some sick person." "No," replied Signor Haam, "that cannot be, otherwise we should at least hear the bells."

Hence, he suspected that these lights were the effect of some diabolical sorcery, and so much the more as the horse had stopped and would not go on a step; he therefore made the driver get down, but it was impossible to make the horse go on; it trembled all over and foamed at the mouth. At length, after many attempts, the horse, drawn away as by force out of the road which led to the ground, set off with such speed that the driver cried out: "O Jesus! What will come of this?" And so Signor D. Ferdinando returned to Naples seized with great fear. He himself deposed the whole of this in the Archiepiscopal Court, as may be read in the process (page 60, ff.).

On the evening of Thursday, the 27th, about 7 o'clock, Giuseppe Orefice and Carlo Marotta went to the place where the stack of straw was, which they found had been burned by the priests D. Girolamo Guarino and Giuseppe Lindtner, in order that they might more easily search for the missing particles. They found also Giuseppe Piscopo, Carmine Esposito and Palmiero Novello prostrate on the ground and weeping because they had seen a little light appearing and then disappearing before them several times. When Orefice heard this, he knelt down and began to recite the Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity. When he had finished, he returned with the others to see what the light was, which according to the deposition of Orefice, rose up about four fingers from the earth and then disappeared, as it were in the ground. After this, having put a mark over the place where the light had appeared, so as not to be mistaken, Orefice and Marotta went to inform the priest, D. Girolamo Guarino, who came immediately to the place and found many persons kneeling there. He began to search with care about the ground on which the mark had been placed.

At this moment, many persons again saw the light, and Guarino, who did not see it, made the Sign of the Cross upon the ground and ordered his brother Giuseppe to scoop out the earth on which the stack of straw had stood to the left of the cross, using a pick-axe which he had in his hand. But he found nothing. However, just as they were thinking of digging in another part, Giuseppe Orefice, who was on his knees all the time, put his hand on the ground and, finding that it was soft and yielding, mentioned it to the Rev. Guarino, who taking a knife from his brother, stuck it into the ground on the spot which had been marked with the cross. And when it was at its depth, he heard a noise as if several hosts united together were broken.  He drew the knife out of the ground and with it a little ball of earth, to which he saw many Particles were attached. Struck with fear at what he saw, he cried out in astonishment: "Oh, oh, oh!" and then fainted away, so that as he himself deposed, his sight failed him and, losing all power over himself, the knife, with the ball of earth and the Particles, fell from his hand.

As soon as Guarino recovered his senses, he put the Particles in a white linen handkerchief, covered them up and laid them in the hole in which they had been found; for on account of the trembling which had come over him, and especially in the arms, he was not able to stand upright. The parish priest, being informed of what had happened, came quickly to the spot, where he found all kneeling before this Hidden Treasure. And having taken better information of the event, he went back to his church and sent a canopy, veil, a number of wax-tapers and a chalice, in which the Sacred Particles were put.

The assistants spread the veil over a little table covered with silk, on which the Blessed Sacrament reposed; around this a number of persons knelt with lighted torches, and many people arrived, not only from the town, but also from the surrounding villages, with their priests, all of whom shed tears of tender devotion. In the meantime, the priest Lindtner and Signor Giuseppe Guarino went off to find Monsignor the Vicar-General and returned about 10 o'clock with orders to carry in procession to the parish church of S. Pietro a Paterno the Particles that had been found. They did so, and along the way they all sang, praising and thanking Almighty God. As soon as they arrived at the church, Benediction was given with the chalice in the midst of the tears and cries of devotion of the whole people, who could not leave off weeping and thanking the Lord for the great consolation they had received.

We read in the history of olden times of many suchlike prodigies in confirmation of the truth of the most Holy Sacrament. I myself, in my History of Heresies, have related many examples on this matter in the time of the impious Wickliffe, who was the first of modern heretics to deny the truth of this venerable Sacrament. At that time Almighty God was pleased to work many miracles to confound their incredulity, which I have inserted in the book just mentioned (Chapters 36 and 37).

Nevertheless, there are not wanting certain critical spirits who altogether refuse to believe these ancient accounts and say, "But who saw them?" Now, if such a one should doubt the fact which I have just now related and which was proved with such exactness in the Archiepiscopal court of Naples, he can easily certify himself of the truth of it by going himself to the town of S. Pietro a Paterno, which is not far from the city, where he will find many lay persons and ecclesiastics who will assure him that they beheld, with their own eyes, the prodigies here related.

For the rest, let others say what they please; for my own part, I hold the fact to be more than certain, and therefore I wished to make it known by publishing an account of it. It is true that the miracle here described does not call for any other than mere human faith; nevertheless, of all such facts grounded on human faith, I do not know if there be one that is more deserving of belief than this that I have just related, considering the extreme care with which the information was taken by the Neapolitan court and the evidence, not of credulous women, but of 17 men, lay and ecclesiastics, who judicially deposed on oath all that they had seen with their own eyes. All these circumstances, which are so many marks of truth, make the fact more than morally certain. Hence, I hope that all those who read this account will not be disinclined to believe it, but will do what they can to make it known-----for the glory of the
Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.