In the Abruzzi village of Lanciano, above the place where a Church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi now stands, a Eucharistic miracle took place whose precious Relics are still preserved today, and which are open for visitation.
The various chronicles of the time tell how in the year 750, a priest was celebrating Holy Mass. Exactly at the moment of the Consecration, the priest was tormented by strong doubts as to whether the Body and Blood of Jesus were truly present in the consecrated Host. He had just finished the Consecration when he noticed that the Host had been transformed into Flesh and the Wine into Blood. The priest, filled with regret for having doubted, began to weep and seek pardon from God. In the chronicles, the testimony of numerous members of the faithful who witnessed the Miracle is also recorded.
In 1970, exactly 12 centuries later, the Archbishop of Lanciano and the Provincial Superior of the Conventual Franciscan Fathers arranged for the Relics of the Host turned into Flesh and the Wine turned into Blood to be analyzed by the noted professor Edward Linoli, director of the hospital in Arezzo and professor of anatomy, histology, chemistry, and clinical microscopy.
On March 4, 1971, the Professor presented a detailed summary of the various studies carried out.
Here are the basic conclusions:
1. The “miraculous Flesh” is truly flesh, made up of striated muscle tissue of the myocardium (part of the heart).
2. The “miraculous Blood” is truly blood: the chromatography (color) analysis proves this with absolute and irrefutable certainty.
3. The immunological study shows that the Flesh and the Blood are definitely those of human being and the immuno-hematological test allows us to affirm that both belong to the same blood group AB, the same group as that of the man of the Shroud (of Turin) and the blood group typical of the populations in the Middle East.
4. The proteins contained in the Blood have the normal distribution, in the identical percentage as that of the serum-protein pattern of normal fresh blood.
5. There were no traces of the salts or other preservative substances used in antiquity to mummify corpses.
This report was published in various international scientific journals and attracted a great interest in the whole world, so much so that in 1973, the Superior Council of the World Health Organization appropriately appointed a commission of scientists who carried out more than 500 examinations on the Relics from the Miracle. The commission confirmed the results of the analyses carried out by Professor Linoli. In addition, the scientific commission declared that the Flesh and the Blood of the Miracle of Lanciano are just the same as they would be if they had been taken that very day from a living being. In the extract summarizing the scientific investigations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN), published in December of 1976 in New York and Geneva, it was declared that “science, aware of its limitations, is forced to admit the impossibility of giving an explanation.”