On March 19, 2006 (the Feast of Saint Joseph), a friend called me with some exciting news…apparently a Eucharistic Miracle had been reported right here in Dallas at Saint James Church. Saint James is in a poor part of town and the pastor at that time was Msgr. Mario Maghanua. I assume you are familiar with Eucharistic Miracles…they occur at various times and places in history, to remind us of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist…and we greatly need that reminder today.
The story, as told by the priest, was that that about thirty days prior, during Communion, a young boy received the host, then became sick in the restroom. For some reason he did not swallow it, but spit it out on the floor of the bathroom. The priest followed him and picked the precious Sacred Host up from the floor. The proper way to dispose of the host is to place it in water until it dissolves, which he did. After thirty days the host had still not dissolved, so he added more water and the Sacred Host moved from the side of the container to the middle and immediately became bloody flesh.
When we got that call, my wife and I rushed over to Saint James to see for ourselves. There was a small crowd there already: some Sisters from the convent of the Sisters of Charity next door, and a dozen or so worshipers. Also present was a priest that we knew slightly…….he was the Pastor in a small town about 30 miles east of Dallas, but still within the Diocese of Dallas. He was an orthodox priest (that is, he was Roman Catholic and believed in such antiquated things as sin and hell)…and at that time the Diocese was quite liberal, having taken Vatican II and run with it. So the really orthodox priests were usually transferred to small town parishes where they could not infect too many of the faithful with such orthodoxy. It was no surprise to see him there in front of the Miracle.
The miraculous host was not to remain long at Saint James: once the Diocese became aware of it they promptly took possession of it and kept it out of sight. It was then sent to be tested….not at a private laboratory but at the University of Dallas, which is a Catholic institution in the Diocese. This is not to demean the biologists there, but it would have perhaps been more prudent to send it to a private lab as was the case with so many other alleged Eucharistic miracles around the world. For example, when the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano was re-examined in 1970, it was done by Prof. Odoardo Linoli, Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. At the very least, we would have like to have seen the actual lab reports.
The Diocese reported that the discoloration on the Host was simply fungus….end of story….or so they thought.
Now comes the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey used to say):
Due to an odd set of circumstances (had to be a God thing) several months later we encountered a priest (we’ll call him Father O.) who was a believer in the miracle and who put us in touch with an attorney in Dallas who had information that amazed us. He alluded to the fact that the investigation into the characteristics of the Host was not as cut-and-dried (pardon the pun) as everyone had been led to believe. Apparently someone involved in testing the host had serious doubts about the test…either the way it was conducted or the way the results were reported. A bit hard to verify after all this time, and of course the Host was disposed of by the Diocese.
All these years we have wondered: why were we privy to such information and what should we do with it: what was in question has not been confirmed and quite a few years have passed since then. And yet, we must have been given this information for a reason, we suppose. So today, for the first time, we are putting it online for your consideration.
Here are some versions of the Miracle:
D Magazine March 23, 2006 (opens in new window)
Spirit Daily (Opens in new window)