Abruzzo: Lanciano

Ancient Anxanum, the city of the Frentanese, has contained for over twelve centuries the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. This wondrous Event took place in the 8th century A. D. in the little Church of St. Legontian, as a divine response to a Basilian monk doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.

During Holy Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the host was changed into live Flesh and the wine was changed into live Blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size.The Host-Flesh, as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large host used today in the Latin church; it is light brown and appears rose-colored when lighted from the back.
The Blood is coagulated and has an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre.
Since 1713 the Flesh has been reserved in an artistic silver Ostensorium, delicately embossed by an artisan of the Neapolitan school.
The Blood is enclosed in a rich and very old cup made of Rock-crystal.

The Minor Conventual Friars have been the custodians of the Sanctuary since 1252; their appointment was the wish of Bishop Landulf of Chieti; their appointment was confirmed by a Pontificai Bull dated April, 20.1252.
The church was in charge of the Basilian monks until 1176; from 1176 until 1252 the Benedictines staffed the church. In 1258 the Franciscans built the present church.In 1700 its architectural style was changed from romanesque-gothic to baroque.

The "Miracle" was first reserved in a chapel situated at the side of the main altar.
Then, from 1636 it was reserved in a side-altar of the nave which still contains the old iron chest and the commemorative inscription.
In 1902 it was transferred into the present monumental marble altar which the people of Lanciano had erected.
Various ecclesiastical investigation ("Recognitions") were conducted since 1574.
In 1970-'71 and taken up again partly in 1981 there took place a scientific investigation by the most illustrius scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy.
He was assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.
The analyses were conducted with absolute and unquestionable scientific precision and they were documented with a series of microscopic photographs

These analyses sustained the following conclusions:
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 muscolar tissue of the heart.

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