When considering unexplained Catholic miracles, most people think of the Shroud of Turin. Then there are the few interred Catholic saints whose bodies have not decayed.
Catholicism is open about the visions and unexplainable occurrences credited to the faith's higher power. The church is also open about particular processes used to verify Catholic miracles, such as the inconclusive forensic analysis of the Shroud of Turin. And there are scientific theories about how a statue could weep tears, how a large group of people could see the Virgin Mary appear to them on a building, and how a bright star led the magi to the newborn Christ. Nevertheless, some Catholic miracles are strange occurrences that haven't been debunked.
Whether you're a follower of Catholicism or a neutral party, these miracles are sure to provoke a sense of curiosity.
Consecrated Hosts That Survived Disaster
The consecrated hosts refer to the wafers used in Holy Eucharist. Catholics believe the wafers, along with the wine, turn into the actual body and blood of Christ during the priest's consecration of the items. The wafers reside in a tabernacle until retrieved for Holy Eucharist or other designated times outside of Mass.
Sixteen months after a 2016 earthquake in Italy, Father Angelo Ciancotti claimed he recovered 40 consecrated hosts from the Our Lady of the Assumption church. Ciancotti said he found the hosts' container had fallen in the quake, but the lid remained intact. He maintains the hosts showed no signs of mold or staleness about them after almost a year and a half of being locked in the rubble of the tabernacle.
The nuns who made the hosts confirmed nothing but flour and water was in the wafers.
The Weeping Statue Of Our Lady Of All Nations In Akita
The statue of Our Lady of All Nations in Akita, Japan, was carved from a Judea tree in 1963. The miracle attached to the figure relates to the deaf Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa, who reportedly saw bright lights and angels near the statue's altar in June 1973. During prayer before the Virgin Mary statue, stigmata appeared on Sister Agnes's hands and recurred for three weeks. According to the story, Sister Agnes returned to the Statue of Our Lady of All Nations to pray and heard the Virgin Mary speak.
Sister Agnes continued praying in front of the statue, and it revealed its own stigmata in its carved hands. After this, the statue began to sweat a rose-scented liquid that the nuns of the order collected. In January 1975, the figure started weeping and did so on multiple occasions until September 1981 - with one such episode airing on television. Allegedly, not only was Sister Agnes cured of her deafness in 1982, but a visitor was also cured of her brain cancer in 1981 after praying in front of the statue.
The liquids the statue produced underwent scientific testing by three different researchers starting in 1975. The first, Professor Eiji Okuhara of Akita University, determined the samples were actual blood, sweat, and tears; the sweat and tears were type AB and the blood type B. The second test, performed by forensic scientist Dr. Kaoru Sagiska, gave the same results as those of Okuhara. A later examination revealed the fluids to be type A and AB and the blood type O, but the samples had allegedly become contaminated during handling over time.
St. Januarius's Annually Liquefying BloodVideo: YouTube
St. Januarius served as a bishop of Naples until his decapitation at the hands of Diocletian persecutors around the year 305. After his beheading, a woman allegedly collected blood from his body and placed it in a container. Eight years after his death, the first Blood Miracle of St. Januarius occurred. The Blood Miracle is still reported and was captured on video in 2015.
The miracle generally occurs three times a year, when the dried blood kept in its sealed container liquefies on the first Saturday of May, September 19, and December 16. When the blood fails to liquefy, the Catholic Church regards it as a warning about impending disasters. On various dates where it did not transform, it was linked to earthquakes, disease outbreaks, war, and the Nazi occupation in Italy.
The Church refuses to unseal the blood from its container, making it difficult for scientists to test. Despite this obstacle, researchers still theorize about possible explanations. One scientist suggests it's a material with a low melting point, which allows it to remain dry until removed from its altar and held by priests or subjected to a room with a large congregation or lit candles.
Spectrographic tests run on the vial contents in 1902 and 1989 supposedly revealed hemoglobin present inside, though it's possible for some dyes to present themselves as the blood protein.
The Miracle Of Lanciano
Referred to by many as the first Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church, the miracle of Lanciano occurred in Italy during the 700s. A monk in the Church of St. Legontian wavered in his faith concerning the Catholic belief of transubstantiation - the process that turns wine and wafers into the blood and body of Christ during their consecration at the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As the monk spoke the words consecrating the wafers and wine, the food and drink allegedly turned into real human tissue and blood in front of witnesses at Mass. Throughout the following centuries, the blood and flesh remained unchanged in an ivory reliquary that traveled among different churches in Italy for display.
On March 4, 1971, Dr. Edoardo Linoli, former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo and professor of sciences, released his findings on the supposed blood and flesh held by the Catholic Church since the eighth century. He determined the flesh to be blood type AB and the tissue that of a human heart, specifically the endocardium. He found the blood to be consistent with that found on the hotly debated Shroud of Turin, and the tests revealed no preservatives in the samples.
A World Health Organization commission confirmed Linoli's findings after 500 experiments conducted over 15 months.