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Miracle of Santarem

In 1266, Santarem Portugal, a young woman sought out a sorceress for help with an unfaithful husband. The sorceress promised help but the price was steep - she would only assist her if she could bring back part of the Holy Host. The wife agreed, attended Mass at the Church of Saint Stephen and after receiving the Holy Eucharist hid it in her veil out of the church. She immediately set off for the sorceress but only made it a few steps before the Host began to bleed.

Several parishioners noticed the bleeding and thinking she was injured offered to help. She fled home, opened her veil to find that the linen cloth had become stained with blood that was gushing from the Host. Out of fear, she threw it into a drawer and went to bed. That very night bright rays of light began firing out of the drawer, illuminating the entire room. She awoke her husband and showed him the Host.

The next morning, they fled from the house with the Blessed Sacrament back to the Church of Saint Stephen. The Parish Priest took their confession and placed it in a wax container where local villagers hurried to the church to witness the miracle.

In 1340, a priest opened the Tabernacle only to find the wax vase shattered into pieces. In the middle was the Sacred Host inside of a small crystal pyx. The Host was removed and placed into a gold and silver pear-shaped monstrance surrounded by 33 rays. The Church of Saint Stephen was renamed to the Shrine of the Holy Miracle where the miracle can still be witnessed. Throughout the centuries the Host has given new emissions of blood. Saint Francis Xavier personally witnessed one of these occasions and would visit the shrine before going on missions to the Indies.

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