The Miracle of Eucharist

(Adapted from Opening Remarks, Eucharistic Prayer Group, July 10, 2016)

Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD

 

 

This month of April in the Church is traditionally dedicated to the Most Blessed Sacrament, which has been present with us not only 2000 years ago when Jesus lived on earth, but every day since then in the Most Holy Eucharist.  In Sacred Scripture at the Last Supper we hear Our Lord proclaim to His apostles:

 

 

“This is My Body….This is My Blood”

(Mt 26: 26-28)

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come again….

I374 “…In the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained…. 

1376 “…By the consecration of the Bread and Wine, there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the Body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His Blood.  This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”

In his encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharista, Pope John Paul II draws attention to the Vatican Council II document Lumen Gentium, stating that:

“…The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of the Christian life”. For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth: Christ Himself, our Passover and living bread. Through His own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, He offers life to men….”

But this has always been a matter of “faith.”

Yes, for most Catholic Christians this has not been supported by science or the experience of our senses, but only by our faith.

The Catholic Dictionary defines “faith” as the acceptance of the word of another, trusting that the other knows what he/she is saying and is honest in telling the truth. The basic motive of all faith is the authority (or the right to be believed) of the one who is speaking.  This one of authority should possess an adequate knowledge of what he/she is talking about, and the integrity in not wanting to deceive.  It is called divine faith when the one believed is God, and human faith when the persons believed are human beings. 

 

“…For by grace you have been saved through faith,

and this is not from you;

it is the gift of God….” 

(Eph 2:8)

 

 

 

But what happens when this gift of faith

has not been nurtured, but instead diluted and neglected?

 

 

 

 

 

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate

CARA, Georgetown University-based

 

 

2008—55 Million Catholics in USA (23%)

                               2014—52 Million Catholics in USA (21%)

(All parameters trended downward between 2008-2015)

 

 

 

Weekly Mass Attendance among US Catholics

--an average of 5 polls between 2004-2008,—42%

--2008 CARA poll, adult self-proclaimed Catholics—23%

 

Belief in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 60% believe; 52% aware of Catholic Church teaching

--30% if count those who reject and those who have no clue of Church teaching

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation  (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

--30% less than once a year, 45% never

  

Pray the Rosary (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 11% Catholics, almost every week; 48% never

 

2014-2015 Pew Research Polls

The fruits of this apostasy has been the much prophesied relentless attack by the evil on the family and on youth.

 

Catholic Faith Education

-Less that 10 % Catholic parents have children in Catholic schools. ($$$)

-About 20% Catholic parents have a child in parish-based Catholic edu. (free)

 

Acceptable Alternative Family Arrangements

-Approx. 45% Catholics believe unmarried and gay family units just as  acceptable as the traditional family unit for raising children

 

Morality of Abortion

-Only 50-60%of American Catholics believe abortion is morally wrong.

 

Is it a Sin?

-Approx. 50% of Catholics believe that the use of contraception, romantic cohabitation  outside of marriage, and remarriage without annulment is not sinful.

-Approx. 40% believe homosexual behavior is not a sin.

 

The Miracle

 

I would like to introduce you to the work of Professor Ricardo Castanon Gomez, a 68 year old Bolivian Ph.D neuropsycho-physiologist, (an expert in relating the physical and chemical activities of the brain to human behavior), who up until 1992 was a professed atheist.  Suspecting to prove them fraudulent, he agreed to investigate several mystical phenomena, including cases of the stigmata, weeping statues and bleeding Hosts.  It was during this time that his findings, rather than supporting fraud, confirmed truth that was supported by science, leading to his conversion to Catholicism.   

He then put together a team to support through science the mystical events occurring around the world.  He became the president and chief researcher of Grupo Internacional para la Paz in Bolivia, a non-profit organization consisting of self-financed research professionals.  He remains very active in this pursuit, having been called upon many times by the Vatican and bishops through the world to conduct research. He takes no financial support from the Vatican, local church or the individuals whom he investigates.  In addition, since all of his team’s research must be duplicated, he pays for the blinded services of well-recognized research scientists throughout the world for their confirmatory or contradictory expertise, so that his work can in no way appear biased either for or against the authenticity of its manifestations.

 

In today’s talk I would like to focus on just three Eucharistic miracles (of the dozens reported around the world) and the work of Dr. Castanon and his team: 

The first Eucharistic miracle recognized by the Church occurred in Lanciano, Italy, in 700 AD, during the consecration of the Mass being celebrated by a monk who was doubting the Real Presence.  Right in front of him the host changed in to what appeared to be a piece of real flesh and the wine changed into what looked like real blood.  Tissue from this Lanciano miracle was not scientifically investigated until 1970-1971, when it underwent 500 different examinations.  Their findings included the absence of any preservatives, the presence of real flesh, cardiac muscular tissue and human blood, type AB (found in 30% Jews, but only 3-5% worldwide).  The blood contained all the proteins in the normal proportions and all the minerals, consistent with freshly shed blood.  This was totally scientifically inexplicable since these specimens were without preservatives and almost 1300 years old, while still having been exposed to both atmospheric and bacterial agents without the expected degradation and decay.

In both 1992 and again in 1996 a similar phenomena occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Initially, local researchers reported the presence of human blood with white blood cells of all different types.  Bishop Bergoglio, currently Pope Francis I of Buenos Aires, three years later in 1999, requested Dr. Castanon to evaluate the tissue since the same bloody flesh still remained.  Dr. Castanon obtained two specimens, both a dry scab as well a specimen that had been stored in distilled water.  Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), then the head of the CDF, also requested that he see the findings, which were subsequently reported to him in 2010.

In the Buenos Aires investigation, Dr. Castanon, supported by several research scientists’ repeating and performing blinded studies from around the world, revealed intact human red and white blood cells 4-6 years after the occurrence in 1996.  Also noted were inflamed left ventricular heart muscle cells that had been traumatized, with evidence of macrophages (scavenger cells to clean up acute inflammatory debris).  The heart muscle cells appeared to be beating or moving, and the living WBC (which normally could live only a few minutes after circulation stopped), implied that the “patient” was alive when the tissue was removed (but it was from a host).  This specimen, as well as all 12 of the alleged Eucharist miracles that Castanon has evaluated all demonstrated type AB blood.  So too, the Shroud of Turin demonstrates the AB blood type.

Of particular interest and concern in evaluating the dry blood, and to answer the question from one Bishop as to whether the blood could have been placed on the Host, Dr. Castanon used a hi-tech specialized camera that can take pictures in layers.  He found that examining from the dry scab inward, the deeper cuts began to show all the signs of living tissue.

In regards to testing DNA samples from both Lanciano in 700 AD, Buenos Aires in 1999, and most recently in Tixtla, Mexico in 2006, human DNA was seen: however, totally unexplainable by scientific methods, the markers needed to amplify the DNA to assess identification have not been there in every tissue from a host specimen as well as the Shroud of Turin, (a miracle by their consistent absence). Thus, science has not and most likely by God’s design will never be able to determine the human genetic code of Our Lord, not surprising since His Father is the Holy Spirit.  This has been the case in all 12 cases Dr. Castanon has evaluated.

The world scientific community has been respectful of the work of Dr. Castanon, primarily because of his perfect scientific methodology; but when it comes to publishing, and since only approx. 4% of the world’s research scientists are believers, it has been very difficult.  And although the Vatican has been “supportive” (by providing some access and interest, but not financially) of his efforts, when it comes time to share these findings with the Church at large, the unofficial Vatican response has been one of the “lack of need” for scientific evidence, since these matters are fundamentally issues of “faith.” Dr. Castanon states that “the Vatican seems to just “not want to talk about it.”

Interestingly, one blogger on the Divine Mercy website from Stockbridge, MA, asks a question that we all might like to ask:

 

“What I cannot comprehend is how such an amazing occurrence as the biologically proven physical transformation of the Host into Christ's flesh and blood has gone so unheralded. The media  (secular) is so quick to wildly spread negative stories about Christianity, yet they give so little attention to such wonderful occurrences as these. And what has the Church done to disseminate information about these events and are they going to do more? ….Why not broadcast this kind of occurrence often and openly to parishioners, the media and anyone that is willing to read such an enlightenment?

 

Anecdotal story (not included in the Prayer Group talk):

In the 2012 1hr 40 min podcast posted on Divine Mercy website, Dr. Castanon noted that he had also been asked over the last 20 years to evaluate several Marian apparitions.  Some early neurophysiological studies had been conducted by French renowned Marian scholar, Fr. Rene Laurentin, in Medjugorje as well as in the US and elsewhere.  However, the sophistication of these newer tests and the ability to compare the EEG findings of multiple seers in ecstasy made the value of these studies more significant in recent years.  Still, in all of these cases, Dr. Castanon and his team made sure to incur all these expenses themselves, thus owing nothing but the truth to both the Church and the seers.

In the spring of 2004, Fr. Laurentin brought Dr. Castanon to meet with my wife, Gianna Sullivan, and me in Frederick, MD.  Arrangements were made for Dr. Castanon and his team to come to Fairfield, PA, to conduct a week long investigation of alleged apparitions.  In the fall of 2004, that did occur, and for 4 days interviews were conducted and a variety of filming and neurophysiological tests were performed in our home.  The week concluded with an 8 AM reservation at the EEG suite at Johns Hopkins Medical Center for a videotaped awake EEG during an alleged ecstasy, in which Dr. Castanon asked Our Lady questions and received answers during the seer’s ecstasy.  This entire event was also observed by Dr. Castanon’s team, Prof. Courtenay Bartholomew and me.

In May, 2005, Castanon met with us in Miami and revealed the findings, which were supportive and included the presence of delta waves on the EEG during ecstasy which have occurred in several other seers, and which have only ever been duplicated in a state of coma and in analleged mystical ecstasy of a seer during an apparition.  Over the next 1 ½ years he sought to have 2 more expert neurological specialists blindly interpret these findings.  In the meantime, we were invited to meet with the US Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi in 2009, and Sambi agreed to receive these reports from Dr. Castanon, encouraging Church authorities to revisit the alleged apparitions, and he promised to forward them to the Vatican CDF.  There they were buried.  The Papal Nuncio died in 2011, and Dr. Castanon received no response, although he still continues to carry on his work for God and His Church.

For centuries it appears that Heaven has been trying to support the Gospel message through mystical phenomena such as apparitions and locutions with urgent messages to the world as well as with messages providing solid Christian formation, in addition to cases of physical stigmata and Eucharistic miracles as well as all kinds of other miracles.  Yet, in spite of this, it seems that the mystical and charismatic qualities of the Church, the Bride of Christ, have become more and more avoided, neglected and feared.  Is it any wonder that the Church and the world face the end times so seemingly unprepared?  Where will the accountability lie?  Should not the phrase “source and summit of Christian life” be more meaningful to Christians than it appears to be? Has the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the hearts and minds of the world’s Christians, especially the Catholic Christians, become not so blessed?

Thank you for listening!

 

Resources:

The Divine Mercy website—article and 1hr 49 min audio podcast

http://www.thedivinemercy.org/news/A-Matter-of-Faith-a-Matter-of-Fact-5114

http://www.thedivinemercy.org/assets/mp3/Dr_Castanon.mp3      ********

Pew Research Center—2008 and 2015

The Sacraments

http://cara.georgetown.edu/sacraments.html

 

Abortion

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/27/5-facts-about-abortion/ 

 

Holy Communion

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/09/24/5-facts-about-communion-and-american-catholics/

 

The Family

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/09/02/key-findings-about-american-catholics/

 

This is My Body—This is My Blood,  The Catholic Journal, Mar 30, 2012

http://www.catholicjournal.us/2012/03/30/this-is-my-body-this-is-my-blood/

 

Reason to Believe, by Ron Tesoriero, Godford New South Wales, Australia, 2007

The faith journey of a Australian lawyer, filmmaker and colleague of Dr. Castanon

https://reasontobelieve.com.au/

 

*******Audio podcast, Dr. Ricardo Castanon at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA, 2102  (Excellent!!!)