In the sixth century, the story has it that a monk known as “Saint Zosimus” of Palestine intended to bring the Eucharist to a “Saint Mary of Egypt” (not the mother of Jesus). But she was on the opposite side of the Jordan River and he had no way to get to her. Saint Mary then made the sign of the cross and was able to walk on water in order to personally receive the Eucharist from Saint Zosimus…
In 1247, in Portugal, a woman hides the Eucharist in a drawer in her bedroom, but it produces a very powerful and bright light, which could easily be seen outside, and it attracts many townspeople to her home…
In 1263, a German priest consecrates the Eucharist… and blood begins to stream out of it…
In 1433, in France, a consecrated host (Eucharist) was on display for the purpose of “perpetual adoration” in the church, but heavy rains and dangerous flooding occurred in that location. Nevertheless, in spite of four feet of standing water all around the church (whose altar contained the host), a dry pathway remained in front of the church, just like the parting of the Red Sea…
In 1649, in Peru, a priest saw an image of “the Christ Child” on the host…
In 2001, in India, a priest saw three dots on the Eucharistic host, which later changed into a human face…
Bread that says, “Worship me!”
There are many, many other such stories, and it is these types of claims that support the Catholic zeal surrounding the Eucharist.
In fact, Catholics claim that there are hundreds of these “miracles” that happened throughout the centuries connected with the Eucharist. The article in the link above claims that many times these Eucharistic miracles have happened when a Catholic was beginning to doubt the supposedly miraculous change that occurs when priests consecrate the bread and wine, but God helped to make it real to him. In other words, it was assumed to be God’s strategic timing in some of these cases that saved the person from falling away from their belief in this Catholic dogma.
This ritual, this Communion service, is also known as the Lord’s Supper. But remember, the Catholic Church officially teaches that every time the Eucharist (i.e., the wine and bread of Communion) is consecrated (blessed by the priest), these items turn into the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, Himself (CCC #1374). This is called transubstantiation. That also means the consecrated bread and wine are to be worshipped. So when a Catholic partakes of communion, he believes that he is actually eating Jesus. By the way, this is how the Catholic says he “receives Jesus.” But this is not the biblical way to receive Him, which is simply by faith (John 1:12-13).
Although transubstantiation is a dogma of the Catholic Church that must be believed by faithful Catholics, it is interesting that no one is forced by the Catholic Church to believe any of these “miracle events,” even though some of these events are officially believed and accepted by the Catholic Church. It seems the Catholic is obligated to believe in the miraculous change in transubstantiation, but he doesn’t have to believe in an official case “proving” this dogma.
The Power of the Priest!
According to priest John Anthony O’brien’s very popular book, The Faith of Millions: The Credentials of the Catholic Religion:
“When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man… not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.” (Page 255-56)
This statement is nothing short of absolute blasphemy! Yet, this popular and influential book has the Catholic seals of approval, called the Imprimatur and the Nihil Obstat. These seals mean that the book is “free of doctrinal and moral error.”
This sure sounds like an official endorsement of a blasphemous doctrine to me! They had every chance to condemn the book, but I know of no pope, bishop or priest who tried to discourage the reading of this book or the statement I just quoted above.
This book should be on their “Index of Forbidden Books” list because of such statements above, but instead, it is a Catholic best seller, it was reprinted in 27 editions, and translated into 10 languages. Apparently, the book and its contents are fully accepted by the Catholic Church. See here:
Again, it is this type of mindset that leads the Catholic Church to twist the biblical Communion service into a perverted ritual, causing many to fall into idolatry. This Catholic Eucharist is a dangerous and unbiblical doctrine.
Interestingly, the “miraculous change” in the Catholic Eucharist is virtually never apparent in the day-to-day Catholic Mass. The bread still looks like bread, feels like bread, and tastes like bread. The same goes for the wine. The Catholic Church claims that the elements have indeed changed, but are still “under the appearance of bread and wine.” How convenient.
But compare this to the actual miracles in the Bible that Jesus did. For the record, Jesus performed real transubstantiation. When He turned water into wine, we know from the reaction of the people that the result no longer looked or tasted like water (John 2:6-10), and that fact was obvious to everyone. Jesus didn’t say that He was tuning water into wine, but “under the appearance of it still being water.” The appearance changed along with the substance.
Another miracle that Jesus performed was walking on the water (Matthew 14:25). But He didn’t swim across the sea and say, “Hey, look folks, I am walking on water, but ‘under the appearance of swimming!’”
Jesus also raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-43). In this event, He didn’t stare at the still-lifeless corpse of Lazarus in the tomb while saying, “Look, I have raised Lazarus from the dead, but “under the appearance of lifelessness!”
No, all His miracles were real – they were verifiable and observable, every time. His miracles were not fake, and they verified His message and His claims. So did the miracles of the apostles and the very early church.
If the consecrating of the Eucharist was really a miracle, it would be clearly demonstrated each and every time the priest performed the Mass.
What Lurks Behind the “Miracle”
Ok, one might say that there must be a reason why all these stories of Eucharistic wonders exist. It is not likely that every person in these stories is telling the whole truth, but neither is it likely that they were all lying, either. Surely, something must be going on. Apparently, they witnessed something that seemed miraculous. Something unusual is happening in (at least some of) these cases, something supernatural.
Many people don’t know this, but not everything that is supernatural is from God. The seven sons of Sceva can attest to that truth (Acts 19:13-17). These seven men were severely beaten and stripped naked by one man – a man who was possessed by demons, and Sceva’s seven sons were no match for him. The supernatural strength of this man and his reactions were certainly not from God.
But any supernatural event will never be alone – it is always attached to a message of some kind. There are only two types of supernatural events: 1) True, God-inspired miracles (Acts 5:12-16), and 2) Lying wonders (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 16:14). To be a true miracle, it must point to the gospel of Jesus Christ, or to the principles of the Bible. If it does not, then it is a lying wonder.
There was actually a test for miracles in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 says that you must not accept a sign or miracle which results in turning away from the true God. In fact, the one who did such a “miracle” was to be put to death (Deuteronomy 13:5).
Furthermore, when Moses and Aaron stood before Pharaoh and Aaron threw down his staff, it became a serpent. But Pharaoh’s sorcerers were able to copy/counterfeit this same miracle (Exodus 7:10-12)! But that doesn’t mean that the sorcerers were also from God. They did their miracles through the power of the devil.
Catholics may say that there is indeed proof that these Eucharistic “miracles” are from God. They will point to “scientific proof” of hosts turning into human flesh (cardiac tissue), the host bleeding or being preserved for centuries, or other unusual events.
But if this type of evidence goes against the biblical truth concerning the bread and wine in Communion, science is no help at all. The devil can manipulate science or physical events and circumstances. But he cannot change Scripture. The Bible is the ultimate standard against which all things are tested (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and it is the spiritual “toolbox,” which can train the Christian and fully equip him for every good/spiritual work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Science does indeed agree with the Scriptures, but it certainly does not ever override or overrule them.
Ok, some Catholics will say that there are good personal fruits coming from these Eucharistic wonders. They’ll say that those who experienced or saw these miracles have demonstrated a rise in piety or in religious practice, or an increase in Catholic submission to the Church, or had a more thriving sacramental life, an increase in pilgrimages or in “conversions,” had a warm and fuzzy feeling or a greater willingness to live out their faith, etc., etc. But all this is just begging the question. These are not biblical proofs of questionable events, but just an increase in religious activity. This logic in no way verifies these wonders, or gives us sufficient reason to believe them.
So, since they are not biblical, either these “Eucharistic wonders” are tricks played on the gullible, or (if they are indeed supernatural) they are demonic false wonders and genuine deceptions.
Someone could argue that God could indeed change the bread and wine into His actual body and blood if He wanted to. So why do Protestants limit God?
But “limiting” God to the scriptural pattern of miracles is not limiting Him at all.
The bottom line is that if the Catholic Eucharist and its miracles are true, then they need to show how this lines up with the Bible (and they can’t)... See here:
But if it isn’t true, Catholics are guilty of idolatry in the most basic sense. And we know the end of those who practice idolatry:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)