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A new book sheds some new light -- and details -- on a putative Eucharistic miracle that occurred in one of the last places on earth one would expect such a miracle: India.

Let's listen in:

"Eucharistic miracles continue to happen, even in this millennium," notes author Elizabeth Ficocelli in Bleeding Hands, Weeping Stone. "As recently as April 28, 2001, a Eucharistic miracle began to reveal itself at the Malankara Catholic Church in a town known as Chirattakonam. The parish priest and his congregation were doing their usual novena prayer to St. Jude, the patron for hopeless causes. The Eucharist was displayed in a monstrance for Adoration.

During that time, the priest noticed three spots appear on the Blessed Sacrament.

"He asked the members of his congregation if they could see it too, and they said they could.

"Afterward, not sure what to make of it, the priest locked the Host in the tabernacle for safekeeping.

"A week later, as he was preparing to celebrate the Mass, the priest opened the tabernacle and removed the Host. By this time, an image of a human face had begun to emerge on the Eucharist. Again the priest showed it to his people, and again they confirmed that they, too, could see it. Together they prayed with the Eucharist before them, and as the congregation gazed upon it, the image grew clearer.

"Soon it transformed into the unmistakable face of a bearded man with long hair. The local bishop was consulted for his opinion, and he accepted it as miraculous, encouraging the congregation to pray and discern what God might be saying to them through this remarkable event."

Indeed. Those who quickly dismiss such images (lest atheists make fun of them) might want to ponder this one a bit longer than, for example, that famous grilled cheese sandwich (which made headlines years ago in the U.S. with a woman's image on it, and which is such a focus of mockery).

What the Lord might be saying? Certainly, of course, that the Blessed Sacrament is for Real. We know that. But we also note that the image became clearer as they prayed. Might that be a sign to us that we see the miraculous only when we are prayerful? And that miracles feed off the power of supplication (and praise)?

That seems straightforward enough; but now: who is the image of?

In the vast majority of cases, any male is taken to be the Lord and any female Mary. That is especially true when it involves the Host. But might other holy figures not inflect themselves into our realm? Might that even be St. Jude?

For your discernment and consideration.

[resources: Bleeding Hands, Weeping Stone]

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