This Event occurred in the inferior Basilica, Saint Pius X of Lourdes, on November 7th, 1999, during a Holy Mass concelebrated by 120 French Bishops, gathered together in Episcopal Conference: some guest Bishops were present and also 650 young priests approximately; 160 Superiors, Abbots and Abbesses, Priors and Prioresses, of Trappist Monasteries, coming from all over the world.
These Eucharistic Concelebration pictures were broadcasted on television by French channel“Antenne 2”. During the ceremony an unusual fact happened in front of the three Bishops facing the altar. They were placed as follows: in the center Mons Louis-Marie Billet, Archbishop of Lyon at that time (since 1998), as well as President of the French Episcopal Conference (from November 1996 till November 2001). He was appointed Cardinal in 2001 and he deceased on March 12th,2002. On his right, (the left in the pictures) the Archbishop of Paris, then Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger and on his left (the right in the pictures) the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Cardinal Pierre Eyt, who passed away in 2001.
On the Altar Mons. Billet is about to consecrate, two large “brown” hosts, with a diameter of about 20/24 cm. often used in France for solemn great occasions of Eucharistic Concelebrations. At the Offertory the two Hosts on the paten, are raised as an offer to God, they can be clearly observed laying upon each other, adhering to the paten and to each other, forming one body to such an extent that it is not clear wether they are two or one. In the footage there is a sequence of several shots that shows them in that position and there are no doubts: the two hosts are phisycally lying upon each other and close-fitting to the paten.
The unusual event occurs at the moment of the Epiclesis, when the ministers extend their hands upon the offerings of the bread and the wine, invoking the Holy Spirit. It can be clearly seen that the upper Host starts to detach from the lower Host and rises. A mysterious and delicate energy-push fills the upper Host, in a surprising way, and lifts it up with an instantaneous delicate movement, which makes it fluctuate three-four times in the air, sets it horizontally and leaves it gently floating in the air two centimeters away from the underlying one. The two Hosts remain in that position, parallel and separated, until the end of the Canon.
The television shooting emphasizes several moments of the ceremony, during which the minister moves around; it is possible to see, through the two Hosts (one suspended in the air, and the other lying on the paten), the green colour of the vestments worn by the celebrant… his hands… the white colour of the garment and of the background wall. In the center of the Host it is visible a special glow, intense at times, it almost seems to be an outburst of energy that gently holds the upper Host lifted and connects it to the lower one. When the Bishop raises the upper Host, saying the words: “Take and eat, this is my Body offered for you” a distinctive brightness springs from It and radiates all around. It even brightens the hands of the celebrant. In the moment when he raises it, the Host seems to lead the movement of the hands of the priest and to drag them upwards.
The videotape with these images is quite long and rich in close-ups. This gives the opportunity to perceive with reasonable certainty that it is absolutely not the case of an optical illusion or a prospective deception.
Experts in the field, after a careful examination of the tape, have excluded in the strongest terms a technical manipulation of the images.
The light signal is unique and it is so well integrated in the unfolding of the ceremony that it excludes all possibility of tricks and optical illusions. On top of that the spectators close to the phenomenon are bewildered and perplexed, visibly embarrassed and unwilling to admit what is happening before their eyes, the fact they can experience first hand. They even seem to be annoyed of what is going on; they were absolutely not expecting such an unusual event, which demands of them an immediate controversial decision on the matter.
This fact really happened on that occasion, date, place. It is certainly true.
Several people, in various parts of France, have recorded the ceremony on video-tapes when the event in Lourdes was being broadcast live; they are still in possession of those tapes. Besides,“Jour du Seigneur”, the catholic entity that owns the copyright on the video has gently given us the original tape in PAL: The video has been shot by four different cameras.
This rebuts any objection that the video could have been edited in a lab.
The episode has been captured by the camera, an objective and neutral spectator.
This sign has got a value and an explanation within the Liturgical Celebration and the christian reality that proclaims the “Mistery of the Faith” at every Eucharist.
For those unaware of Cristian faith and willing to get information on what the Magisterium teaches about Eucharist, it is available a chapter on the Catechism of the Catholic Church or it is recommended to turn to qualified and authoritative people.
All visible and verifiable phenomena, especially one like the above-mentioned, have to be examined with a scientific method and possibly with an approach free of any prejudice.
Hopefully more people will be interested in investigating this event and making solid hypothesis about its possible explanations, it being understood the authenticity of the footage.
In other similar cases, exactly as it has happened with this phenomenon, it is difficult to be able to keep the “concreteness of observation” like a real unbiased investigator and merge it to openness to accept facts that cannot be denied.
Reality goes beyond our comprehension and we need others or “Another”, the “Builder”, to explain His work to us and reveal us His plan.