Historic and Inspirational Stories of the Blessed Sacrament with Prayers
FR. FREDERICK A. REUTER, K.C.B.S.
with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, Feast of the Assumption, 1922
THE STORY OF
THE BLESSED SACRAMENT #6
AT Boxtel, a small town in Holland, a blood-stained corporal, the white linen cloth on which are placed the Host and chalice at Mass, and altar cloths are venerated by the faithful, on account of a miracle that took place in the church of St. Peter. A priest named Eloi Aecker, while visiting this town, said Holy Mass at the altar of the Magi Kings. He had the misfortune to upset the chalice after the Consecration; at the moment the Precious Blood was spilled, the color of the wine, which was white, and very clear, changed to spots of blood that stained the corporal and altar cloths. The priest was entirely beside himself when he became convinced of the great prodigy, and from fear determined to keep the event a secret. He took away the corporal and other linens, intending to wash and return them when the stains of blood had disappeared.
To his surprise the water and cleansing had no effect on the stains. After finding his efforts fruitless at home, he went to a public stream, a tributary to the river Frommel, thinking that by washing the linen in running water he would have better success; but all of this proved of no avail. Convinced of God's will, he decided to take the linens to the church at Boxtel and make the miracle known.
Historians do not agree regarding the details of the event. Some say that a priest, doubting the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, was converted after seeing the miracle, but that he took the sacred linens home, washed them several times, and exposed them to the sun. Overcome with fear when the bloodstains did not disappear, they say he concealed the corporal and cloths in his home until the hour of his death, when he made a declaration of it in the the presence of his confessor and two witnesses. But the miracle did occur and its news spread far and wide, bringing many pilgrims to this holy spot.
It was one of the most frequented pilgrimages of Brabant, and in the language of the country was called "Holy Blood of Boxtel." God was pleased to confirm the prodigy by many other miracles. An ancient author relates that it became necessary to burn entire cartloads of crutches and bandages, because there was no longer room on the walls of the Sanctuary to suspend these proofs of cures obtained through the Holy Blood. Even the stream in which the priest had washed the linens became a source of Heavenly blessings. By this means many were cured of illness, and others were delivered from the powers of the evil spirit.
Pilgrimages to this hallowed spot continued for two centuries, but owing to the religious persecutions which later arose under the Protestant revolution, the relics of Boxtel were at first carried secretly to Bois-le-Duc, then to the Abbey of St. Michael at Anvers. The Bishop of the diocese determined to designate a permanent spot where these precious relics of the miracle of 1380 should be preserved; the church of Hoogstraten was selected. Since May 20, 1652, therefore, the pilgrims came to that place by the thousands, especially on the Feast of the Holy Trinity and during the Octave, to venerate the corporal and the altar cloths which have the stains of the Eucharistic Blood. A correspondent from Hoogstraten writes the following:<>"Every year we celebrate an octave in honor of the miraculous Blood. On this occasion we expose on the main altar, in the transept of our magnificent church, three pictures that depict the miracle. In the middle we see the priest washing the stained linens, to the right the priest on his deathbed revealing the miracle to his confessor, and to the left we notice the Papal delegate with the Bishop and theologians investigating the miracle. The relics, despite their five hundred years, are perfectly preserved, the spots still visible, especially on the altar cloth, which is thicker than the corporal." [From Church of Hoogstraten, Sentinel of the Blessed Sacrament, vol. XVIII, by Wagenaar.]
I COME, O Lord, unto Thy Sanctuary to see the life and food of my soul. As I hope in Thee, O Lord,, inspire me with that confidence which brings me to Thy holy mountain. Permit me, Divine Jesus, to come closer to Thee, that my whole soul may do homage to the greatness of Thy majesty; that my heart, with its tenderest affections, may acknowledge Thine infinite love; that my memory may dwell on the admirable mysteries here renewed every day, and that the sacrifice of my whole being may accompany Thine. Alas, I am unworthy to join with Thy minister in adoring Thee! I can neither feel the extent of Thy blessings, nor acknowledge them as I ardently desire to do. But, O lord, be Thou with me, then, that by Thee and with Thee, I may worthily assist at this Holy Hour.
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we adore Thee, we glorify Thee, we give Thee thanks for Thy great glory.
O Lord God, Heavenly King, God, the Father Almighty! O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son! O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayers: Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou art holy. Thou only art our Lord. Thou only, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of the Father. Amen.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O MY GOD I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good and infinitely worthy of all my love, and because sin displeases Thee. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to never more offend Thee by sin.
MY JESUS, I believe that Thou art present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to receive Thee into my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee Sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as if Thou wert already come, and unite myself wholly to Thee. Never permit me to be separated from Thee. Amen.
SOUL OF CHRIST, be my sanctification;
JESUS, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may love Thee more and more.
A Sacred Heart Reading
A FEW years ago, as is related in the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, a poor woman who had scarcely ever known the blessing of health was at last obliged to keep to her bed, being reduced to a state of complete exhaustion. The doctor, thinking she was in a hopeless condition, prescribed no remedy; and being forced to send her children out to work every day, the poor widow was left almost entirely alone. She used to leave her door open from morning to night, so that the neighbors and charitable passersby might come to her aid in case of need. Her patience was wonderful, and no one ever saw her yield to impatience or sadness. One thing, however, grieved her; it was the thought of dying without seeing the beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart which had been placed in the parish church. "Ah!" said she, "it is certain that I shall never ne able to go to church again; I shall never see the Sacred Heart." Those about her would reply: "Do not lose confidence; if it is necessary you can be carried to church."
The woman began a novena to the Divine Heart of Jesus and asked to have a Mass said for her on the first Friday in the month of May, at the altar of the Sacred Heart, hoping to be able by some means, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice. Her friends agreed to wrap her in a a large shawl and transport her to the church; but this was not enough for her, she insisted on fasting so that she might go to Holy Communion. The first Friday in May came and her daughter and a neighbor carried her in their arms to the church. After hearing Mass and receiving Holy Communion, she heaved a sigh and exclaimed: "I am cured! Return thanks to the Sacred Heart." She rose up and walked alone to the altar, which was decorated for the month of May, where she remained for some time praying on her knees, then returned home without support and without experiencing any discomfort. Her cure was complete and everlasting, as she was restored to health and had become the joy and happiness of the little household. She was ever grateful to the Divine Heart of Jesus by never failing to communicate in thanksgiving, every first Friday of the month.
MAY the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the Tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time! Amen.
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