Parish to host
Eucharistic miracles exhibit
By Cleveland Stordy
Good Shepherd Church in Surrey will be the first church in Canada to
host the Vatican’s Eucharistic Miracles of the World Exhibit.
The exhibit, consisting of dozens of elaborately designed museum
boards crafted in Italy, depicts the history of devotion to the
Eucharist, from people who have shown outstanding love for the
Eucharist, to the way the Eucharist has shaped the spiritual life of
The monstrance containing the Flesh and the Blood of Christ.
The miracle of Lanciano, Italy, is depicted in an exhibit
coming June 20 to 22 to Star of the Sea Church in Surrey.
The exhibit includes presentations and a replica of the
chalice believed to have been used by Christ at the Last
The exhibit will be hosted by Star of the Sea from
Friday, June 20, to Sunday, June 22. A talk June 23 will be given at
Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Vancouver by Brother Isaiah Viotte, a
member of the Community of St. John in Monterrey, Mexico. Brother
Viotte is a representative of the Children of Hope organization in
Princeville, Ill., which works to lead children to the Blessed
The inspiration and timing of the exhibit revolves around the 49th
Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, June 15 to 22, said organizer
Carolyn Wharton, and is a response to the call of the Canadian
bishops for everyone, especially those not attending the Quebec
congress, to use the time as a period of prayer and reflection.
Another purpose of the event is to reinforce awareness about
Eucharistic Miracles, said Wharton, a Star of the Sea parishioner
who attends Good Shepherd Church.
Wharton hopes the exhibit will lead other churches to opening
adoration chapels like Good Shepherd’s, where perpetual adoration of
the Blessed Sacrament has been taking place for the last seven
Eucharistic miracles are extraordinary events concerning the bread
and wine transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass
which can be experienced through the senses. The Church teaches that
Eucharistic miracles are meant to confirm faith and to teach the
faithful to look beyond the external appearance of the bread and
wine, to the substance, the Real Presence of Jesus, that is, His
Flesh and Blood.
Among the objects on display at the church will be a replica of the
Holy Chalice of Valencia from Spain, regarded by some as the cup
used by Christ at the Last Supper.
One popular miracle depicted in the exhibit is that of Lanciano,
from 8th-century Italy. Father John Horgan, pastor of Sts. Peter and
Paul Parish and a noted expert on Eucharistic miracles, said the
small Italian town “preserves to this day a host and the dried
contents of the chalice, the Precious Blood of Christ.”
When the host’s elements were subjected to scientific testing the
host itself was identified as being cardiac tissue. Scientists
marvelled at the preservation of the tissue and the fact that they
could identify blood proteins after 1,200 years of exposure. They
have even been able to determine that the tissue, which is kept in a
monstrance, and the blood, which remains in the chalice, are Type
Many great people, including saints and Pope John Paul II, have
prayed before the miraculous host.
“This scientific confirmation makes this miracle very relevant to
the 21st century,” said Father Horgan.
“The exhibit is here in B.C. to help us better comprehend the
incomprehensible and to grow in our love for the Eucharist,
discovering its beauty and riches.”
Wharton hopes the exhibit will “help everyone to understand more
deeply the fact that the Eucharist is a daily miracle, and that this
miracle takes place whenever the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is
offered, during which time Christ is present in a unique and
Nineteen countries are represented in the Miracles Exhibition, which
includes 80 of the more than 126 Church-approved Eucharistic
The most recently approved miracle of the Eucharist took place in
Chirattakonam, India, in 2002.
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