Newspapers’ Articles

Andrea Tornielli Article, “Il Giornale”, Theursday May19th 2005

Lourdes, the “wonder” of the host that flies leaves.

(Head words of the article) There you have the not yet published images of an inexplicable fact that happened on November 7th, 1999 during a Mass, celebrated by French Bishops in the inferior Basilica of Lourdes. In the moment of the invocation of the Holy Spirit the Particle raised and remained suspended until the Communion.

 It is a barely known event, though the images of the happening have been live broadcasted by French channel “Antenne 2”. An extremely unique case (sustained by such a sensational tv recording so to take your breath away) that could be “an authentic modern Eucharistic wonder”. It cannot yet be officially called “Eucharistic miracle” because no Ecclesiastic Authority judgment has been issued, but this event certainly drives us to at least to reflect on it.

To this “Eucharistic prodigy” is dedicated The last chapter of the book of the journalist Renzo Allegri “The blood of God” (Ancora, 2005, 13 euro) is dedicated to this “Eucharistic Wonder”. The book describes some of the most meaningful “Eucharistic miracles” of the history.  In the different periods in which faith was lacking on the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus in Eucharist – a cornerstone of Catholic doctrine – miraculous phenomena have occurred, with Hosts that have given blood and were transformed into flesh.  Allegri’s book speaks of them in detail and without falling into a “miracles searcher”. The volumes end with the description of what has happened into the inferior Basilica of Lourdes on November 7th 1999 during a solemn Holy Mass, concelebrated by French Bishops, many priests and all the Superiors of the Trappist Monasteries in the world.

In the unpublished images taken from the video, (printed below, in “Il Giornale”) is shown a close up of the minister who presides over the Eucharistic Concelebrating, the Archbishop of Lyon at that time, mons. Louis-Marie Billet, appointed Cardinal in 2001 and passed away the following year, on his left stands Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. In the first of the three situations, taken from the video, is clearly seen a large white host on the paten, visible in front of the bishop. The Hosts are in fact two, much larger than those used normally for celebrations, as it is indeed customary in France for the Solemnities. At the beginning of the Holy Mass, the two hosts are shown in the video lying one upon the other, perfectly fitting together, making a single body to such an extent that it is not possible to realize that they are two and not one. They are lying on the paten – a kind of tray – they perfectly stick to it. In the videotape there are several shots that film them in that position and there is no doubt: the two hosts are physically lying upon each other and perfectly adhering to the paten. The unusual event occurs at the moment of the Epiclesis, that is when the ministers stretch out their hands on the bread and on the wine invoking the Holy Spirit.

It can be clearly seen that the upper Host starts to detach swiftly from the lower Host and rises.

The movement – Allegri writes – is impressive: The Host rises as if below it had been activated by a pushing spring; it rolls three, four times in the air, before steadying horizontally at around too centimeters from the underlying one; it remains in that same position until the end of the “Canon of the Mass”.

Television shooting emphasizes several moments of the ceremony, during which the minister moves around and it is possible to see through the two Hosts (one lifted in the air and the other lying on the paten) the color of the garments worn by the celebrant. Since the footage with these images is quite long and rich in close-ups it can be determined with reasonable certainty that it is absolutely not the case of optical illusion or prospective deception.                

Experts in the field, after a careful examination of the footage, have excluded in the strongest terms a technical manipulation of the images. Much less are conceivable threads or illusionistic tricks being perpetrated by the highest representatives of French Catholic Hierarchy.

Eucharist miracle? As said, French Ecclesiastic Authorities after several consultations have decided not to make any official comment. Though by seeing that video one feels an emotion beyond words because he can see with his own eyes something happening, which has no rational explanations. The author of the book quotes the opinion of a theologian present at the celebration, who thinks that “It is the case of a real supernatural sign” and that it has an ecumenical meaning, since for Orthodox Church is precisely at the moment of Epiclesis that the Body and the Blood of Christ become present, to be then “offered” by Christ Himself through the words of the minister. According to Catholic Theology instead the action that consecrates and transforms the bread and the wine occurs a few instants later, when the celebrant pronounces the words: “This is My Body…”.

In the picture: the Particle at the moment of the invocation of the Holy Spirit lifts up, and suspended until the Communion, during the Holy Mass concelebrated by French Bishops in the inferior Basilica in Lourdes, November 7th,1999 (Picture of Antenne 2).

Article of Renzo Allegri – Rome – February
“The Mystery of Eucharist”

…A curious event occurred in France in November 1999. During the Celebration of a Mass in the Inferior Basilica in Lourdes, at the moment of the Consecration, the upper Host (there were two great Hosts) lifted up and remained suspended in air until the end of the Canon, before the final Doxology (“For Christ…”). The program was filmed live by tv and thousands of people, in their houses have assisted to the phenomenon. In France it also exists a video of that Mass, from which we have extracted the images reproduced in these pages.

The Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Lyon, with him were concelebrating the Cardinal of Paris, Jean-Marie Lustiger, all French Bishops, many Priests and all of the Superiors of the Trappist Monasteries in the world. On that occasion much larger hosts were used. At the beginning of the Mass hosts lie one upon the other, close fitting to the Paten (a kind of platter).

In the footage there are several shots that film them in that position and there are no doubts that the host is physically lying upon the other. At the moment of Epiclesis, that is when the ministers reach out their hands invoking the Holy Spirit, it can be seen that the upper Host detaches from the lower one, that keeps being tight to the Paten and rising. The movement is impressive: the Host rises as if below it a spring had been triggered and it oscillates three, four times in the air before stabilizing horizontally. It stays in that position until the end of the Canon. Miracle? Ecclesiastic Authorities questioned several times have decided not to comment. But thousands of people have seen that phenomenon on TV.


Renzo Allegri mentions the fact
in the last chapter of his book.

The Pope declared the year 2005 “Eucharistic Year”, dedicated to the Mystery of the Bread and of the Wine that become Body and Blood of Christ in the Mass. A travel in the many inexplicable wonders that had happened through the Centuries.

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