The Christmas miracle of Legnica

24 December 2017

On Christmas, December 25, 2013, one of the most impressive Eucharistic miracles in church history happened in Legnica, Poland. The result of forensic examinations was clear. Guest contribution by Michael Hesemann

Legnica ( Ironically, on Christmas, December 25, 2013, happened in the Polish Legnica (German: Legnica in Lower Silesia) one of the most impressive Eucharistic miracles in church history. For one year, the bloodthirsty there in the church of St. Jacek publicly worshiped. The historian and author Michael Hesemann has researched locally. In his new book from the series “Mysterium”, “Menetekel: Prophecies, Visions and Bleeding Hosts”, just published by Bonifatius-Verlag Paderborn, he documented the incident.

The miracle of Liegnitz happened on Christmas day, on December 25, 2013, in the Church of St. Hyacinth (Polish: swiety Jacek) in the Lower Silesian Legnica (German: Legnica), a millennial city with 100,000 inhabitants and center of the textile industry and metalworking, About 70 kilometers from the German-Polish border.

He was preceded by a mishap. While giving out the communion in the solemn Mass celebrated by Rev. Andrzej Ziombra on the Feast of the Nativity, the priest fell a consecrated host to the ground. Immediately he dropped to his knees and lifted her devoutly and a little embarrassed. As soon as he had given the final blessing, he reverently carried the soiled body of Christ into the sacristy, and then proceeded with it according to the rules of the church. Finally, the catechism teaches:

“The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the time of the consecration and lasts as long as the Eucharistic figures exist.” (KKK 1377) Therefore, it is common to find a host that has fallen to the ground and been contaminated by it, Place in a bowl or other liturgical vessel filled with water and wait for it to dissolve. The water is then usually poured into the sacristy, the “holy spout”, an opening in the floor of the church or the sacristy, which leads directly into the soil. Of course, Pastor Ziombra knew that and so he wanted to handle it.

Ten days later, on January 4, 2014, he was sure the wafer had completely dissolved in her water-filled gilded bowl. So on this day he planned to pour the water into the sacristy together with two other priests. But the clergymen were amazed when they discovered that the bread shape was still intact – and not only that: on its surface, towards the edge, an oval spot had formed of a red substance that looked like fresh blood.

The pastor immediately informed the then Bishop of Legnica, Msgr. Stefan Cichy, who soon commissioned a commission to investigate the incident. When it began on January 26, 2014, the environment of the substance, probably because of their varying severity, had already broken out of the rest of the host, which was beginning to dissipate. This oval fragment of host was taken out of the water one week later and placed on a circular, gold-embroidered corporal, where its oval, already deep red spot gradually condensed in the center. From him, employees of the Wroclaw Institute of Forensic Medicine collected samples that they initially unsuccessfully examined for fungal infestation, mold or external contamination. Finally, the forensic scientists categorically excluded a bacterium or a fungus as the cause of the discoloration of the host. On the other hand, a histopathological examination revealed, to the astonishment of the experts, that “most likely it would be the tissue of a heart muscle”.

This result was, of course, so incredible that you absolutely wanted to get a second opinion. So they sent another sample to the Szczecin Institute of Forensic Medicine, without giving any information on their origin. There another method of investigation was used. When this was completed, the Department of Histopathology at the Pomeranian Medical University said they had identified “tissue fragments containing fragmented components of a cross-striped muscle”. This is similar to “a human heart muscle with changes, as they can occur during the death struggle”. In addition, one has found human DNA in the blood.

Liegnitzer cardiologist Dr. med. Barbara Engel, member of the episcopal inquiry committee, summarized: “The material was examined under UV rays and an orange filter and the result was clear. We were able to identify cardiac muscle fibers that are typical of myocardial tissue, with changes that often occur during a death struggle. ”

Of the 133 church-recognized Eucharistic miracles that have taken place since the beginning of church history, Liegnitz is one of the most impressive. Only in five cases, namely the historical miracle of Lanciano (8th century) and the modern wonders of Buenos Aires (1996), Tixtla / Mexico 2006, Sokolka / Poland 2008 – which I also document in my book “Menetekel” – and in Liegnitz, foremost, forensic scientists have been able to prove that a host has actually turned into a human myocardium.

When there was no doubt about the findings, the church had to react here as well. On April 10, 2016, the new Liegnitz Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski read the final report of his commission during a Holy Mass celebrated in the St. Jacek Church. The incident of 2013, as he later noted, wisely revealed “all the characteristics of an Eucharistic miracle.” After consulting the Vatican Congregation of the Faith, he recommended that Pastor Ziombra worship what was left of the miracle host, July 2 In 2016, in a solemn procession attended by 3,000 believers, it was returned to the Church of St. Jacek, where Bishop Kiernikowski celebrated a Pontifical Mass for the inauguration of a dedicated side chapel. of which almost only the human heart tissue was left, was inserted into a monstrance, which has since then, protected by a glass hood, on a pedestal in front of the image of the Merciful Jesus according to the vision of Sister Faustina. A poster documents the history and investigation of the miracle, and a book records the hearings of prayers that have since been recorded. Even healings of serious diseases have been reported.

Above all, however, the believer has the opportunity here to look directly into the Lord’s heart and to witness to His Passion. This is the heart of Jesus worship in the age of CSI, forensic mysticism to some extent. Thus, the Christmas miracle of Liegnitz becomes the most direct possible confrontation with the reality of transubstantiation, the real presence of the Lord in the sacrament of the altar. The transformation of a consecrated host into a human heart muscle in the throes of death is a clear supernatural sign that reminds us to thoroughly rethink our attitude towards the Eucharist. It dramatically documents what the Church has always taught: that at each Mass the sacrifice of Golgotha is understood, the suffering, the death, and the resurrection of Christ, who is present in every host truly and not merely symbolically. But it also refutes Luther’s understanding of the Lord’s Supper as a mere celebration of remembrance, in which Jesus is actually present, but no change takes place in flesh and blood. The Protestant theologian Helmut Thielicke admitted: “If the essential transformation of bread and wine should be a fact, then one should no longer rise from the knees.”