In the United Sates last year there arose a serious controversy as to whether God can work miracles within the framework of the Novus Ordo Mass. Now if God does work supernatural miracles, it is obviously for them to be believed in, so that they will strengthen people’s supernatural faith. And if he wants something outside of the natural order to be believed in, he is obviously going to provide enough evidence, like Lazarus walking out of his tomb in front of a large crowd of bystanders. And in this respect the most convincing evidence is of a material and physical sort, such as can in no way be the product of any human mind (however pious), like the fireworks of the sun in Fatima in October, 1917. Then what is the material and physical evidence of a eucharistic miracle having taken place in any Novus Ordo Mass?
One such miracle is alleged to have taken place in the parish church of Sokulka, Eastern Poland. On October 12, 2008, a priest, ordained five years ago by a Polish bishop consecrated in 1980, dropped a Sacred Host on the altar step while distributing Holy Communion. He stopped to pick it up and placed it in the small vessel containing water next to the Tabernacle. After Mass it was locked inside the sacristy safe for the Host to dissolve in the water, so that the Real Presence would no longer be there and the water could be safely discarded. This procedure is altogether normal for such accidents in the Catholic liturgy.
But when on October 19 a parish Sister went to check on the dissolving Host, she saw in its centre some matter intensely red in colour, like a blood clot. She immediately informed the parish priest who came with other priests to observe what looked like a piece of living flesh. All observers were amazed. Next came the local Archbishop, of Bialystok, with several diocesan officials. All of them were deeply moved. By the Archbishop’s instructions, on October 30 the Host was removed from the water, transferred onto a small corporal and placed in the Tabernacle to dry out. To this day it retains the form of a blood clot.
On January 7, 2009, a sample from the Host was taken to be examined by two pathomorphologists, separately, at the nearby Medical University of Bialystok. Their unanimous judgment, but independent of one another, was that “of all the tissues of living organisms, the sample most resembles human myocardial tissue,” from the left ventricle of the heart, typical for a living person in a state of agony. Furthermore both pathologists found, presumably under their microscopes, that the fibres of the myocardial tissue and the structure of the bread were so tightly bonded together that any possibility of a human fabrication was ruled out. On January 29 this material and physical evidence was presented to the Metropolitan Curia in Bialystok, where the Church’s official judgment upon the supernatural origin of the occurrence is patiently awaited. In that wait, said the Archbishop in a sermon of October, 2009, decisive will be the spiritual fruits among Catholics. Already there has been a significant rise in the piety and religious practice of local Catholics, and from abroad there have been hundreds of pilgrimages, with numerous miracles of healing and conversion also taking place.
If the material evidence is to be believed, then in Sokulka God worked one more in a long series down the ages of eucharistic miracles to help souls to believe in something normally difficult enough to believe in, namely that he is Really Present beneath the appearances, once consecrated, of bread and wine. But how is that possible when Traditional Catholics know that the New Mass is the single major cause of the Church’s destruction by loss of faith since Vatican II? An answer may be that the Sacred Heart, knowing that the shepherds were mainly responsible for the ambiguous NOM, refused to abandon his sheep, and continues to feed them with what is still Catholic amidst the ambiguity. And amidst all the Newchurch’s relative carelessness in dealing with the Holy Eucharist, the Sokulka event is also a daunting reminder to shepherds and sheep alike – “Remember whom you are handling – it is I, your God!”