Sacred Heart – Source and Summit!

As the Feast of Sacred Heart approaches I have been pondering upon Jesus’ heart more and more. This is not only a very special feast for the Church but very much a special feast for the community. (See teaching of Sacred Heart of Jesus here.)

Image from

The other day I revisited the accounts of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in Lanciano, Italy. It came to mind after a conversation I had with a dear brother about Msgr. Petrillo’s Sunday homily in Larchmont, NY.  Yet, it so happened that Monsignor spoke of another Eucharistic miracle that had occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina which happened to take place while Carindal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was Archbishop.

Here is what I read up on and the train of thought and albeit meditation that flowed from this brief conversation:

In the 8th century A.D. in the small Church of St. Legontian in Laciano, Italy there occurred one of the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracles the Catholic Church has recognized.

“During Holy Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the host was changed into live Flesh and the wine was changed into live Blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size.” [1]

Various investigations have been done since on this first of eucharistic miracles. But perhaps the most daunting were conducted in “1970-’71 and partly in 1981…by scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.” [2]

These investigations brought about the following conclusions that are simply astonishing!

  • “The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood.
  • The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  • The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
  • In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
  • The Flesh is a “HEART” complete in its essential structure.
  • The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin).
  • In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  • In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.” [3]

I have been to Lanciano and yes indeed when you are there you cannot help but contemplate this amazing miracle that took place so long ago and that continues to draw pilgrims from around the world. But for some reason it never quite hit home until now.

If we fast-forward to August of 2006, we have another Eucharistic miracle that occurs in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This time the host was found discarded on a candleholder in the back of the Church. As the priest was unable to consume it, he placed it in some water and left it in the tabernacle, waiting for it to dissolve. [4] Eight days later, what he found would lead to yet another Eucharistic miracle that in many ways resembles Lanciano.

The priest, Fr. Alejandro Pezet, informed the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio that the host had turned into a bloody substance. [5] The bloody host remained in the tabernacle for many years; kept secret. Then, in 1999 Cardinal Bergoglio sent it off to New York for scientific analysis. This is what they found:

“On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.” [6]

It was also found that the blood type present was type AB.

What does this all have to do with Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart? Well as I was pondering these miracles and so many others that have occurred, I asked myself, beyond the obvious questions that one would ask oneself surrounding a miracle of this nature: Why is it always the heart? Why does Jesus always point to His heart? It was then that I looked up at a statue of Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart and realized…all along Jesus has been pointing to His heart which in essence is His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament-the Eucharist!

The heart is what essentially keeps someone alive. It is the organ par excellence that keeps all other organs alive and running. It is also the organ that is most tied to the soul of the person. Usually when we speak of someone’s heart we speak of their being, their soul; who they are. His heart is what keeps our soul alive! It is what keeps our faith and hope alive!

So Jesus gives us His flesh to eat, but not just any flesh. His Heart; the very muscle that “is responsible for the contraction of the heart”. His heart! Given to us to consume in order to receive His Most Precious Blood! We receive His blood, to purify us, to cleanse us, to heal us…“to make our hearts like unto His.”

So during this Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart, receive His Heart. Take time to adore His Heart. Believe that He can and will transform your heart, like unto His. The more we receive His heart, the more we adore His Heart, the more we will be Christ like because we will have His very Heart.

And the next time you see a statue or image of the Most Sacred Heart, remember that He is pointing to His Heart: the Heart of our faith, our Church and the source and summit of our lives: The Eucharist.

Alejandra (MI)



[2] ibid.

[3] ibid.


[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

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