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The Eucharistic "Miracle" of Lanciano

In Brief


Bread and wine allegedly turned into real flesh (heart muscle) and blood in the eight century at the hands of a priest who has doubts about how holy communion can really be Jesus. The origin is too legendary and no tests are any good unless the origin is clear. The relics cannot be regarded as religiously or historically important when they could have come from a black mass for all we know. 


We still have these items today enshrined at Lanciano.


There is no evidence that the Lanciano remains of this miracle are that old or are not some subsequent counterfeit.


They are mummified and the body and blood of Jesus should be incapable of rotting for mummification is a form of decay.


There is some form of vegetable material involved which has not been tested. My money is on it being a preservative.


Nobody wants to do DNA tests with this miracle and other similar ones!


Tests show the same blood type as the Turin Shroud but that is to be expected for the blood is old and when the blood cell walls have broken down.


There are lies that in 1973, the (non-existent) Higher Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) spent ages checking it out and verified it. 


The heart muscle was deliberately mummified for it has nail holes


Linoli the scientist said it is humanly impossible to cut a heart into that shape but he refused to inform us that the flesh is very different now from what it originally looked like. There is fungi damage as well on the "miracle". Bizarrely we are informed that heart muscle can be cut that way but not until the 1800's. What is so special about the 1800's?


If we are to worship bread and wine as Jesus and they change it follows we should still do so. The heart is as much the entire body of Christ as a wafer would be. The risk of idolatry is tremendous.


In depth analysis


Atheist Missionary on Lanciano:


The Catholic Church teaches that when the priest says the words of Jesus, "This is my body," and "This is my blood" over bread and wine at Mass that they become the body and blood of Jesus despite there being no detectable change. This is called transubstantiation - one substance changing into another.


The Catholic Church takes advantage of the fact that we know there is more to something than what we sense about it. The flower is more than just the colour we see. The Church uses this perception to trick us into failing to see how absurd transubstantiation is. The fact that there is more to the flower than the things we can sense about it does not mean we have to consider the possibility that it is actually a human being and not a flower.


If the alchemists had presented lead to us for sale saying it was really gold though every test said it was lead what would we think? The doctrine of transubstantiation opens the door to such bizarre claims. If you claim the right to say bread is really a living breathing man then you can't complain if somebody starts saying that his multivitamin is an antibiotic.


The Church rejects the notion that the substance of the bread and wine vanish and are replaced with the substance of the body and blood of Jesus. It says the substance of the bread and wine are turned into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus. This really means that Jesus's substance is made from that of the bread and wine.


The doctrine of the transformation is so odd that most Catholics if not all struggle with it. There are reports of Jesus miraculously changing the bread into his bleeding flesh. These reports are doubtful considering that no Catholic miracles such as apparitions of Mary are credible. The evidence says that the Church is not to be taken seriously.


Some of the stories of bread becoming flesh or bleeding or whatever, the stories of the Eucharistic Miracles, are regarded as true. Most are not. And yet their veneration is permitted.


The Church claims that the stories are true when there is no reasonable explanation apart from the supernatural. There must be verification that the flesh or blood is of human origin. Predictably, there is little concern for proving all the flesh and blood out there came from one man - from Jesus!


The supernatural is not an explanation at all. If you have tried all the natural explanations and none fits that does not mean that none of them really fits. Maybe you made a mistake or have been told something wrong. And what if there is a natural explanation you know nothing about? The absence of a natural explanation does not prove that the only explanation is supernatural.


The supernatural is not enough. Religion imagines that the magical and the supernatural are not the same thing. Sensible people believe they are for both claim to be able to raise the dead,. Religion says the supernatural ultimately comes from God. But suppose magic and the supernatural though alike are not the same. Then most people in history have believed that magic can make the impossible happen. Even if there is a God, an all-powerful God, what if magic really exists? You may say it is impossible for it to exist for it is the impossible happening. But somebody could say that they have seen the impossible happening. The point is that you cannot know if the supernatural is magic or not and if magic exists then it is able to contradict even God!


The errors and lies in the reasoning of those involved in "authenticating" Eucharistic Miracles warns us off believing in them! 


The blood looks like lumps of something. It has not stayed fresh.






The picture above depicts the transformed Eucharist bread.


You can see that the flesh has rotted away in the middle. What we have left is something that is clearly mummified. It might be down to a process of natural mummification.


There is nothing impressive. Yet the Church claims that the preservation of the flesh and blood must be a miracle!


It has been argued that science wasn't developed enough back then to make such a good fake relic. You only have to look at the miracle to see that there is nothing odd about it.


The Miracles Implications for Catholics


The Catholics say that the miracle proves that transubstantiation has happened. In this case, the bread and wine became the body and blood of Jesus as usually happens at Mass but this time there was a visible change. The piece of heart is substantially the whole Jesus. It only appears to be a piece of him.


Catholics genuflect to and worship the Eucharistic miracle. This is undoubtedly idolatry.


If the Eucharist is the living resurrected body and blood of Jesus why does the Lanciano miracle show him to be a cadaver? It is Catholic teaching that Jesus in the condition of a man suffering on the cross is not present in the Eucharist. It teaches that the Eucharist is the changed and risen Jesus. Or do you want to take the miracle as evidence from God that Jesus did not rise from the dead!


The miracle seemingly defends the extremist and heretical doctrine of some in the eighth century that the physical elements change in the Eucharist. Catholicism says they do not physically change but there is still a change. For Catholics, transubstantiation is only a change in the "substance", not the physical form.


The monk saying the mass would have said over the bread, "Take eat this is my body." Then it turns into human flesh. Are we to take this as meaning he was called on to eat what appeared? Was he called to be a cannibal? There have been reports of Eucharistic miracles where Jesus' blood appeared in a person's mouth.


The Church says the miracle is part of private revelation so nobody is obligated to believe in it.


If it were a real miracle, the flesh would still be raw and the blood still liquid.


The Implications of Science


Science can only tell us things about the flesh and blood. It cannot tell us that they really were once bread and wine. There is no proof of transubstantiation.


In 1970, a scientific examination came up with the following.


• 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.


• 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.


• The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.


Study by Dr. Edoardo Linoli, Professor of Anatomy and Pathological Histology, Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was once head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo. His assistant was Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, retired professor of human anatomy at the University of Siena.


The study was never accepted for inclusion in peer reviews.


There is only a little tissue yet the study claimed: 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.


This was blatant lying.


Another lie is how we are told that the flesh and blood were exposed to the air for centuries. There is no evidence for that and they are kept in airtight jars.


The doctor, Linoli, claimed in 2005 that the preservation was inexplicable and the flesh and blood were not taken from a corpse as they would have decayed fast. This is a lie as well as parts of the body can be mummified and preserved.


Let us forget about the lies and look at the bias shown by Linoli.


Also, though bias does not always prove a person is wrong, the bias shown by Linoli makes his conclusions suspect.


In his report he talked about "the Miraculous tissue" and "the Miraculous heart fragment". It has not been proven that the flesh is miraculous in origin. Even if its preservation is strange (and going by the photos the preservation was extremely poor)


He made no effort to test the age of the flesh and blood. That didn't stop him saying they were 12 hundred years old!


The alleged report by WHO which backed up his findings cannot be found anywhere. Does it exist?


Though Linoli said the tissue was not alive the WHO report allegedly said it was! He said it was dried out. He said it was shrunken. He found that it was infested with microorganisms/fungi.


The Church evidently chose an expert who had no intention of being open minded and who would authenticate the alleged miracle.


The blood was AB same as the Shroud of Turin but all old blood tests as AB due to chemical changes caused by ageing.


There has been a whole culture of lies built around this miracle.

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