A wafer that turned red and continued to float in water three days after a communion ceremony at a Catholic church in Utah has reportedly been hailed as a miracle (video below).
During a communion ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kearns, Utah, in November, a young parishioner handed his wafer back to the priest overseeing the ceremony, Fox 13 reports. The priest then placed it into a glass of water.
Instead of dissolving completely as wafers normally do when placed in water, however, the wafer continued to float for three days after the ceremony. It also turned red and appeared to bleed.
After news of the bleeding wafer spread in the community, local residents came to the church to observe the phenomenon.
The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has since taken possession of the wafer and appointed a committee to investigate the incident, which many at the church have called a miracle. There are no plans as of yet to return the wafer to public display.
Monsignor M. Francis Mannion, the head of the committee, has released this official statement:
Recently, reports of a bleeding host at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kearns have been circulating within the diocese. Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, Diocesan Administrator, has appointed an ad hoc committee of individuals with various backgrounds to investigate the matter. The work of the committee is now underway. The results will be made public.
The host is now in the custody of the Diocesan Administrator. Contrary to rumor, there are NO current plans for public exposition or adoration.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation, we can use this time to renew our faith and devotion in the greatest miracle -- the Real Presence of Jesus Christ that takes place at every Mass.
In the Catholic communion, the wafer, which is also called the host, represents the body of Jesus Christ, while wine represents his blood, the Daily Mail reports. Since the host is believed to be sacred in the Catholic faith, unwanted wafers are never simply thrown away, but instead dissolved in water and poured down a special sink that drains onto the ground instead of the sewer.
The bleeding wafer is the most commonly observed miracle involving Catholic communion. In other incidences, the wafer has been reported to withstand fire or remain intact for hundreds of years.
The most famous incidence of a bleeding wafer occurred during the Mass at Bolsena, which took place in Italy in the thirteenth century. The occurrence, in which the wafer reportedly bled onto a tablecloth in the shape of a cross, is captured in a painting on the walls of the Vatican Palace in Rome.