Treasures of the Church- Eucharistic Miracles
Date of the miracle
Several historians form the XV century affirmed to have read the
original document that disappeared relating the data on the miracle
on February 16th 1247. Other documents related the miracle to the
date of the year 1266, the registered date commissioned by King
Alfonso IV is 1346. The difference in the dates could have been to
the fact that the same host has been the cause of innumerable
miracles in different years.
The first miracle
An unhappy woman lived in Santarem between the years of 1225 and
1247, because she was convinced that her husband was unfaithful. She
tried all the possible means to bring back her husband with out any
results. Desperate before her situation, she turned to sorcery
visiting the soccer of the town. She promised her that her husband
would again love her like before, but with the condition that she
would pay her with a consecrated Host. This frightened very much the
women, she knew this to be a sacrilege, but finally yield to it.
After receiving communion in her parish church of Saint Stephen, she
did not consume the host but left the church immediately took the
host out of her mouth and placed it in her head scarf.
On her way to the sorceress house, the Holy Host started to bleed.
The woman did not realized this was happening until the people
passing by informed her, thinking that she was bleeding. The woman’s
heart started to panic. She went home and placed the Host covered in
the scarf at the bottom of a chest
made of wood where she kept personal items in her room. She remained
there with fear all day until night time.
When her husband arrived late that evening, they went to sleep, with
the possibility that she herself did not rest much. The guilt of her
sin tormented her, and also the idea that perhaps the Host continued
In the darkness of the room, a great miracle occurred. From the
chest brilliant rays of light shined through, allowing the couple to
awakened. They saw a spectacular vision of angles adoring the Holy
The woman no longer
contained herself and confessed the great sin to her husband. Both
repented and spent the rest of the night kneeling in adoration and
reparation before the miraculous Host.
The next morning they informed the parish priest. He went to the
house and heard the story from the woman. The priest returned the
Host to the Church of St. Stephen in a solemn procession,
accompanied by many priest and lay people. The host continued to
bleed for three days. Finally it was decided to place
the holy host (still bleeding) in a reliquary made of beeswax. The
holy host remained their until a second miracle occurred.
Second Miracle (1340?)
The priest enclosed the holy host in the beeswax reliquary and
placed it in the tabernacle. This is were the second miracle
occurred. When the priest opened the tabernacle door, the beeswax
reliquary disintegrated in small pieces. In its place was a
recipient made of glass that contained the blood of the host
together with the beeswax. We can contemplate it together with the
main reliquary that dates from 1782. Since the XVIII century this
reliquary remains in the Eucharistic throne on the mayor altar.
Today it is known as the Sanctuary of the Holy Miracle.
The miracles continue
Through the centuries, the Host has bleed repeatedly and several
images have been seen in the host, images of our Lord Jesus. Among
the many witnesses, is Saint Francis Xavier, the missionary apostle
of India who saw the sanctuary of the miracle before departing to
the missions. It is known that an archbishop of Lisboa broke the
glass reliquary trying to detain the bleed flow.
Blessed Sacrament Processions
Since the occurrence of the miracle until today, every year, on
the second Sunday of April, the Eucharistic Miracle is taken in
procession from the house where the couple lived and the miracle
occurred, the Via delle Stucie to the Church of the Miracle. The
house has been a chapel since 1684.
The Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem is considered the most important
after the Miracle of Lanciano
Studies and canonical investigations have been made during the
years, being the most important the one in
1340 and 1612, which proved without doubt the authenticity and
antiquity of the Eucharistic Miracle.
Only once did the Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem leave the city,
when Napoleon troops invaded Portugal in 1810. Threatened by the
French and fearing the profanation, the Eucharist was taken to
Lisboa, the Church of Pacao. The people of Santarem protested has
time passed and the Eucharistic Miracle was not returned to them.
The Eucharistic Miracle was returned in secret, to prevent
resistance from the
capitalians, who where not informed of the Eucharistic Miracle
returning to Santarem on Dec. 2, 1811.
The sanctuary was restored by Rev. Antonio Francisco Marques, bishop
of Santarem solemnly opening the doors on Dec. 7th, 1996. Today it
has a small museum in the main altar. The Eucharistic Miracle of
Santarem is exposed for pilgrims who request it, able to be
contemplated closely. The Holy Blood has been liquified, 750 years
after the miracle occurred. The old, original group (Real
Brotherhood of the Sacred Miracle) in charge of safekeeping the Holy
Miracle still exists today.
Popes that have granted Plenary Indulgence to the Eucharistic
Miracle of Santarem:
Pope Pio IV: (1559-1565) granted Indulgence to pilgrims who
visit the Church.
Pope St. Pio V and Pope Pio VI: granted privileges to pilgrims that
visit the Church.
Pope Gregory XIV (1590-1591): granted Plenary Indulgence to all the
members of the
Real Brotherhood of the Sacred Miracle on the day they entered the
brotherhood and the day of their death.
Saints that are in some way united to Santarem and the
Saint Irene : Santarem in Portuguese means “Saint Irene”,
patron of the city. She is a martyr of the year 653. In the Church
of St. Irene we can find the Miraculous Crucifix of Monteiraz. Chuch
documents relates that the Body of our Lord became alive (like the
Miracle of Limpias), Jesus arm came down from the crucifix and
embraced a small shepherd girl of the time of the Eucharistic
Miracle. The crucifix belonged to a community of the 12 benedictine
monks (Abby of 12 apostles) is from the XII century, it is still
Saint Stephen: martyr and patron of the Church of the
Saint Leonor Alfonso : daughter of the King D. Alfonso, who became a
religious of the order Poor Clares and is buried in the Monastery of
Saint Francis Xavier: visited most of the sanctuaries
of Portugal. He also visited the Church of the Holy Miracle before
being sent to missions in India by the King of Portugal. St. Francis
Xavier’s image is venerated in the Church of the miracle.
Saint Isabel of Portugal: most of Portugal’s Kings of that
time visited the Eucharistic Miracle . The most famous visit was
from two visits that Queen Saint Isabel(Isabel of Aragon), in 1295
Her first visit was during her trip to Coimbra coinciding with the
feast of St. Irene. The second visit was to request before the Holy
Miracle peace between her husband, King Dionisio and her son, the
future Alfonso VI, who were in discord.
She requested the Holy Host be taken in procession in the streets.
She herself accompanied the procession, deposing of her royal
vestments, her crown and jewels. She covered herself with ashes,
walked barefoot, with a rope around her neck. This act of penance
from the Queen was very pleasing to the Lord, granting her the grace
of peace and reconciliation between her husband and son.
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and