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Fatima and the Miracle of Santarem

February 16, 2017
The Eucharistic Miracle displayed above the altar in Santarem, Portugal

The Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem provides a foreshadowing of the message of Fatima, even 650 years removed from each other.

About 40 kilometers from Fatima, in Santarem - which shares the same district as Fatima - a Eucharistic miracle took place on February 16, 1266. Though some put the actual year at 1247, the exact year is insignificant, as the fact remains that a consecrated host has been preserved for 750 years, intact and drenched in Blood, in the church of St. Stephen of the Holy Miracle.

The story of this miracle begins with an unfortunate wife whose husband had abandoned her for another woman. Tired of suffering, she turned not to God, but to a sorceress to use her spells to do something about the woman's sorry fate. The sorceress promised to help her if she brought her a consecrated host.

The unhappy woman, her desperation blinding her, agreed to commit the sacrilege. She went to St. Stephen’s church and received Communion. After receiving the Blessed Sacrament from the priest on her tongue, she furtively dropped the Host into a veil, left the church, and hurried to the sorceress’s den. But on her way, drops of Blood began to drip from the veil without her realizing it, and the people she encountered asked her how she had hurt herself badly enough to be bleeding so much.

The unfortunate woman, overcome with confusion, rushed home instead and locked the miraculous Host in a chest. As it turned out, her husband returned that very evening. In the middle of the night, they both awoke and saw the house shining with light, and mysterious rays coming from the chest. When his wife told him of the sin she had committed, the husband spent the rest of the night with her on their knees in prayer. At dawn the parish pastor was informed of the event and came to the couple’s house to take the Host and carry it back to St. Stephen’s church in a solemn procession, followed by a crowd of religious and faithful. The Host continued to bleed for three more days. It was then placed in a beeswax pyx in the church’s tabernacle.

A Century Later, a Shocking Event


In 1340, a priest opened the tabernacle and found the wax envelope broken into several pieces and replaced by a crystal vial; the miraculous Host and the blood were inside the vial. How had they been put into the sealed vial? No one knows.

The vial and its contents were left to be exposed for the continual adoration of the faithful, then in the 18th century were placed in a magnificent monstrance above the main altar of St. Stephen’s church - since moved to a shrine above the altar, accessible by a staircase. Blood has flowed from the Host several times throughout the centuries, and images of Our Lord have appeared on it. St. Francis Xavier, who visited the sanctuary before he left for the missions, was one of many who witnessed this extraordinary sign.

Popes Pius IV, St. Pius V, Pius VI and Gregory XIV, all recognizing the extraordinary privilege of this miracle, granted a plenary indulgence to any pilgrim who came to adore the Blessed Sacrament in the church of St. Stephen of Santarem.

The Connection to Fatima
 

650 years later, in the Fall of 1916, at the Cabeço (hilltop in Fatima), the Angel appeared with a chalice and a Host. Drops of Blood dripped from the Host into the chalice. Then, leaving the chalice and the Host suspended in midair, the Angel prostrated himself with his face on the ground and repeated three times the following prayer:
 

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners."

If there was any doubt as to the heavenly source of this prayer, these are the exact words of the catechism of St. Pius X. The events of Fatima contain the essentials of Catholic doctrine: the dogma of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Mary Mediatrix of all Grace, the Angels, man’s last ends, the Church, the pope, the communion of saints, sin, prayer… Doctrine and piety are inseparable.

Then the Angel arose and gave them Communion, saying: “Take and drink of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men; repair their crimes and console your God.” Then, after receiving Communion from the Angel’s hand, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, bowed their faces to the ground and joined in the adoration of the heavenly Messenger: "Most Holy Trinity…" Enveloped in such prayer, when they finally rose to go home it was already night.

This Supernaturally Sweet Scene is Tragically Fitting Today


Satanic rites have as their "prize" the use of consecrated hosts in their blasphemous Black "Masses," an occurence that is becoming more and more prevelant. Our readers remember the sacrileges of Oklahoma City in 2014 and 2016 for which the SSPX offered public reparation. 

And while overt sacrileges like the one that occured in Santarem do not take place in the new liturgy of the Novus Ordo Mass, the unimportance given to the dogma of the Real Presence - as revealed by Cardinals Ottiviani and Bacci - has led to generalized disrespect and offenses against the Holy Eucharist. To illustrate, only see this incomplete list:

  • The priest no longer makes the first genuflection just after the consecration
    • This point reveals a new theology behind the new rite: while the first genuflection after the consecration has been removed, the second has been kept, and this can be interpreted in a Protestant way. The Protestant faith admits only a certain spiritual presence of Christ due to the faith of the believers. Thus, in the new Mass, the priest only makes a genuflection before the host he has just consecrated after presenting it for the adoration of the faithful. This is complete doctrinal and liturgical ambiguity.
  • The faithful remain standing during and after the consecration
  • Communion is received standing and in the hand, distributed by unconsecrated hands
  • Indecent dress
  • Rarity of confessions
  • No thanksgiving offered after Mass
  • Hardly a moment of silence during the Mass
  • Tabernacles separated from the center altar and placed on the side
  • The priest no longer has to keep the fingers that have touched the host together
  • The pall no longer covers the chalice
  • The interior of chalice no longer has to be gold
  • The procedures for a host that has fallen on the ground have disappeared

Obviously all of these novelties can only diminish the faith of the faithful - and even of priests - in the Real Presence of Our Lord, true God and true man, in the Holy Eucharist.

Men Showing Less Respect than Angels
 

How sad it is to see these men, women, and youth coming to Jesus in the Host as to an equal, without changing anything (attitude, dress), when an Angel of God bows his head to the ground before the consecrated Host! The Angel of Portugal’s appearance in Fatima was the tangible manifestation of the invisible adoration of myriads of angels before the Blessed Sacrament, night and day, and especially during Holy Mass.

Fatima is also an invitation to a great and true devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament on the altar. The three children prostrate in adoration with the Angel before Jesus in the Host, the long hours Francisco spent before the Tabernacle in his parish church to “console God,” the communion of reparation on the first Saturday of the month, are so many encouragements to practice Christian modesty and to repeat the prayers the Angel of Portugal taught.

Source: Fatima, a Message for Our Time, 2017 - Fr. Labouche, SSPX