After Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano  (it consisted in a consecrated host, which became flesh and blood) that, dating back to 730-750, is considered to be the most ancient event of this kind, a new Eucharistic miracle recently occurred in Argentina, Buenos Aires. This one, as for various aspects, reminds us the Lanciano miracle. It was August 18, 1996, when Fr. Alejandro Pezet was celebrating an evening Mass at the catholic church of Saint Mary, in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. While he was finishing to distribute Communion, a woman approached him and said she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. Fr. Alejandro, once arrived there, collected the host and placed it in a bowl with water. Then, he put it away in the tabernacle of the Blessed Sacrament chapel. On August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he found out that the host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (currently, Pope Francis), who decided to let the host be professionally photographed (photos were taken on September 6). These pictures clearly showed that the host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. After that, for around three years this host remained in the tabernacle and this extraordinary event was kept a strict secret. Then, since the host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to allow scientific analyses. On October 5, 1999, at the presence of Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York to be analyzed. Since he did not want to prejudice the study, on purpose he did not inform the team of scientists about its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. The team determined that what had been analyzed was real flesh and blood, containing human DNA. Dr. Zugibe stated: “The analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.” Two Australians, journalist Mike Willesee and lawyer Ron Tesoriero, witnessed these tests and, since they knew where such a sample had come from, remained astonished after Dr. Zugibe’s testimony. Moreover, Mike Willesee asked the scientist for how long white blood cells would have remained alive if they had come from a human tissue, which had been kept in water. The scientist replied that they would have ceased to exist in a matter of minutes. The journalist then told the doctor that the sample was from a tissue that had first been kept in ordinary water for a month and then in a bowl with distilled water for three years; only then the sample had been taken for being analyzed. Dr. Zugibe had no scientific explanation for all this. Only then, Mike Willesee informed Dr. Zugibe that the analyzed sample came from a consecrated host (white, unleavened bread) that had mysteriously turned into bloody human flesh. Amazed by this information, Dr. Zugibe replied that all this was an inexplicable mystery to science, a mystery totally beyond his competence. The above-mentioned details were reported by Fr. M. Piotrowski SChr on the website Love One Another!, 17/2010; some further details on this event (even if, in some cases, information are slightly different from what has been reported above) have been then provided by the Italian journalist and writer Antonio Socci, who personally carried out some investigations in Buenos Aires. Particular events would have started in May 1992, in the same month and year when Jorge Bergoglio was nominated auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires. On May 1, 1992, two pieces of host were found on the corporal in the tabernacle. The parish priest decided to put them in a bowl with water, inside the tabernacle itself. After some days, these two pieces of host were still not dissolved and on May 8, they had also become reddish. Furthermore, on Sunday, May 24, on the internal wall of the tabernacle a drop of blood was observed. After these events, it happened what has been already detailed above (even if the discarded host was found on August 15, 1996, not on 18). Once the transformation into flesh and blood had been noticed, Archbishop Quarracino was directly informed. He was the one to decide not to spread the news and to authorize photographs and specific studies. Then, all the documentation was sent to Rome. In 1999, Archbishop Bergoglio, who started to follow the case only from June 1997, authorized specific analyses for both cases (1992 and 1996), and these were carried out in USA (California) in 2000, by using typical FBI procedures. As for the 1992 sample, this contained fragments of human skin. Finally, there were the New York lab analyses on the 1996 sample, with the amazing results already said above. A brief comparison with Lanciano’s miracle. At this point, it might be really interesting to carry out some comparisons between Buenos Aires’ miracle and the first Eucharistic miracle that took place at Lanciano. The Miracle of Lanciano, dating back – as already mentioned – to the VIII (8th) Century, happened during a Mass, just after the consecration: host turned into flesh and wine into blood. The host and the blood are still conserved in the church of Lanciano, that was built after the miracle. In November 1970, the Archbishop of Lanciano decided to submit samples of both the host and the blood to scientific examination. Professor Edoardo Linoli was appointed, together with Professor Ruggero Bertelli from the University of Siena. On March 4, 1971, were finally presented the results of the analyses, which confirmed that flesh and blood were, with no doubt, of human origin. The flesh was unmistakably human heart tissue, and the blood belonged to AB blood group. Remarkably – this was also found in the case of Buenos Aires -, flesh and blood have not been subject to the usual cadaveric degradation. In 1973, the Superior Council of the World Health Organization (WHO) appointed a scientific Commission to verify the findings of the two Italian doctors. This research, which lasted 15 months, with a total of 500 examinations, confirmed what had been indicated and published in Italy. The extract of the scientific work of the WHO Medical Commission was published in December 1976, in New York and Geneva. Here-below is a table where the scientific analyses results of the two samples (Lanciano and Buenos Aires) are compared. As one can see, similarities are striking. From what we know, it also seems that Dr. Castanon let some labs compare the results obtained in New York with those obtained for the miracle of Lanciano; it would seem that, in addition to having the same blood type (AB), the samples would also have compatible DNA and, therefore, could belong to the same person.
As for the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, one can read researches and lab analyses’ results in volumes published by Prof. Linoli and in the WHO magazine published in New York and Geneva in 1976, as well as in the documents conserved in the Sanctuary and exposed to the public. On the contrary, as for the miracle of Buenos Aires it is not possible to say the same. The Eucharistic miracle of Buenos Aires, in fact, has only recently started to be known because the bishop of Buenos Aires at the time of the event was Jorge Bergoglio, who has become Pope a few years ago. The only one who disclosed the news was Dr. Castanon, who did it through interviews and conferences, but it seems he has not published any of the results yet. E.A. – V.G.
 Italy, Abruzzo, in the area of Chieti.