Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italian English Spanish


Dear Father Angelo,

my name is Fra Alessandro, I am a Discalced Carmelite and a fourth-year student of Theology. I recently listened to a meditation about Eucharistic miracles and I heard from the speaker that after the transmutation of the bread into flesh of the consecrated host, as in the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, the real and substantial presence is preserved. And consequently, adoration must be paid to these relics as it happens for theBlessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.

What do you think about it?

Thank you for your help.

Fra Alessandro of the name of Jesus, ocd

The priest’s answer

Dear Fra Alessandro,

1. I think what St. Thomas thinks about it, who expresses his thoughts about this matter in the Summa Theologica (III, 76, 8).

Here it is what in the sed contra: “When such apparition takes place, the same reverence is shown to it as was shown at first, which would not be done if Christ were not truly there, to Whom we show reverence of latria. 

Therefore, when such apparition occurs, Christ is under the sacrament”.

2. In the body of the article he gives the reasons and writes: “Such apparition comes about in two ways, when occasionally in this sacrament flesh, or blood, or a child, is seen.

Sometimes it happens on the part of the beholders, whose eyes are so affected as if they outwardly saw flesh, or blood, or a child, while no change takes place in the sacrament. And this seems to happen when to one person it is seen under the species of flesh or of a child, while to others it is seen as before under the species of bread; or when to the same individual it appears for an hour under the appearance of flesh or a child, and afterwards under the appearance of bread”.

3. Then he adds: “Nor is there any deception there, as occurs in the feats of magicians, because such species is divinely formed in the eye in order to represent some truth, namely, for the purpose of showing that Christ’s body is truly under this sacrament; just as Christ without deception appeared to the disciples who were going to Emmaus”.


He concludes: “since in this way no change is made in the sacrament, it is manifest that, when such apparition occurs, Christ does not cease to be under this sacrament”.

4. The same thing happens when the mutation occurs objectively, that is, in the appearances of bread and wine.

In them the Lord’s Body and Blood do not cease to be present.

5. Here are his precise words: “But it sometimes happens that such apparition comes about not merely by a change wrought in the beholders, but by an appearance which really exists outwardly. And this indeed is seen to happen when it is beheld by everyone under such an appearance, and it remains so not for an hour, but for a considerable time;


Consequently, it remains to be said that, while the dimensions remain the same as before, there is a miraculous change wrought in the other accidents, such as shape, color, and the rest, so that flesh, or blood, or a child, is seen. 

Indeed, as was said already, this is not deception, because it is done “to represent the truth,” namely, to show by this miraculous apparition that Christ’s body and blood are truly in this sacrament”.

6. Here is the conclusion: “And thus it is clear that as the dimensions remain, (…) the body of Christ truly remains in this sacrament”.

Therefore, He is to be given the cult of latria, that is, of adoration.

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to present this lucid doctrine by St. Thomas, I wish you every good, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.

Father Angelo