All of us have doubts at one time or another.
No matter how much faith we have, Satan continues to work on our core beliefs and tries to undermine them. As it says in the Gospel of Mark, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Whenever I am faced with fleeting moments of doubt, I am strengthened by two things that cannot be explained logically nor scientifically: Eucharistic Miracles & Incorruptible Saints.
You don’t need to be a Catholic to appreciate the long history of Eucharistic Miracles. Some are confounding, such as in 1354 when a Eucharist, having being thrown into a fire overnight, remained unscathed. Or that another host has remained perfectly preserved since 1730.
No, there are even more dramatic miracles, like 1263 when the host started bleeding upon Consecration. This event led to Pope Urban VI to commission the Feast of Corpus Christi.
And even as recently as 1999, in Buenos Aires, a consecrated host seeped blood and the scientists have yet to be able to explain it. This is very similar to the most famous of Eucharistic Miracles; it happened in Lanciano, Italy in the 8th Century. The bread turned to a fleshy material and the wine turned into blood sacs.
As late as the 1980s this Lanciano miracle has been put under scientific scrutiny. Their findings are extraordinary and as follows:
- The bread is now real, human Flesh. The wine is now real, human Blood.
- The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart and includes the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium. In other words, the Flesh is a “HEART” complete in its essential structure.
- The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB, which is identical to that on the 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 as well as minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
- They are both completely preserved, with absolutely no degradation or deterioration. 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.
Another type of miracle that helps me with unbelief are those of Incorruptible Saints. In rare cases, after their death the bodies of saints remain perfectly preserved. They do not decay over time and retain their pigment. Some even have a sweet aroma to them. It is believed that they are so pure, so holy upon death, that the normal corruption of a corpse does not occur.
Science has tried, and failed, to explain this phenomenon. Here are some of the more famous incorruptible saints:
Saint Silvan died a martyr in 350AD and his body remains the same.
Saint Vincent de Paul died 1660.
Saint Veronica Giuliani died 1727.
Saint Bernadette died in 1879.
Saint Padre Pio Died 1968.
At the end of the day, however, miracles, by themselves, cannot create faith. Knowledge of something does not necessarily become belief in that something.
If it did, anyone reading this blog would believe all of them to be true. But, people doubt and that’s the struggle we all face. Just ask the apostle Thomas.
The existence of Eucharistic Miracles and Incorruptible Saints strengthens me when I am weak and props me up when I feel I’m about to falter. For me, they are a little gift from heaven that helps me with my moments of unbelief.
I hope they do the same for you.