(Continued from Part One) “On January 26, 1902, at the parish church of Saint-André, a city on the island of La Réunion (French Colony), Abbot Henry Lacombe, pastor of the church, was witness to the miracle that he would recount to thousands of people during the Eucharistic Congress of Angouleme (1904), as well as to the group of priests gathered for a spiritual retreat in the town of Perigueux. The Face of Jesus appeared in the Host which was for many hours witnessed by thousands of people.”
Abbott Lacombe gave this report: “It was January 26, 1902. We were celebrating Perpetual Adoration. The Most Holy Sacrament was exposed in the tabernacle. I began to celebrate the Mass. After the elevation, at the moment of the Our Father, my eyes were lifted toward the Host and I saw a bright halo around the rays of the monstrance. I continued to recite the prayers of the Mass with great agitation in my soul but which I tried to overcome. We came to the moment for Communion and again I looked toward the monstrance. This time I saw a human face, with lowered eyes and a crown of thorns on the forehead. What moved me the most was the dolorous expression painted on the face. The eyelashes were long and thick. I tried not to let on to the presence of the turmoil agitating inside of me. After Mass, I went to the sacristy and summoned the older children from the choir to go to the altar and closely observe the monstrance. The children raced back and told me, ‘Father, we see the head of a man in the host. It is the good Lord revealing Himself!’
A young man of 16, Adam de Villiers, who had studied in a college in France, also arrived. I said to him as well: ‘Go in the church and see if you notice something strange in the Tabernacle.’ The young student went to the sacristy and returned immediately, saying: ‘Father, it is the good Lord who appears in the Host. I see His divine face.’ Since then, all my doubts disappeared. Slowly the entire town went to the church to see the miracle.
Journalists and people from the capital of St. Denis also arrived. The face on the Host suddenly became animated and the crown of thorns disappeared. I used every possible precaution, and fearing the effects from the rays of light, I had all the candles extinguished and the shutters closed. The phenomenon became even more clear. There was a young artist among the visitors who faithfully reproduced the face in the Host. Later, the vision changed again and a crucifix appeared which covered the entire Host from top to bottom. After the Eucharistic blessing and recital of the Tantum Ergo, the vision disappeared.” (The Eucharistic Miracle of the Island of Reunion)
A second example of the Face of Christ on a Host, which has been recently under investigation, occurred on November 15, 2013 at Christ the King Parish in Kerala, India. The Face of Christ appeared on the Host as the pastor, Rev. Fr. Thomas Pathickal, was saying the morning Mass. According to Christ the King Parish Vilakkannur website ” A Theological Commission of Syro-Malabar Church made a detailed study of the miraculous incident as per the guidelines of the Holy See and declared that the Eucharist is a Relic of Divinity.”
The archbishop also asked the parish to document “signs and supernatural” occurrences resulting from the alleged Eucharistic miracle. The International Theological Commission also studied the host, saying the Church could approve the miracle.
It was Pope St. John Paul II who first used the phrase, “Eucharistic Face of Christ,” which was previously unknown in the Church. Pope St. John Paul II, by dedicating the millennium to the Face of Christ, drew back the veil for us, so that like disciples on the road to Emmaus, who recognized Jesus in the “breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:30-32), we too, may seek, find and adore His Face present and hidden in the Eucharist where we may gaze on Him freely in faith.
“May, O Lord, the light of Thy Face shine upon us.” These words were the inspiration for Pope St. John Paul II to place the third Millennium under “the radiant sign of the Face of Christ.” He emphasized the importance of contemplation of the Face of Christ by stating: “And it is the Church’s task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine also before the generations of the new millennium. Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His Face.” One way to do so is by contemplating His Holy Face in His Presence in the Eucharist.
At the age eleven Ven. Carlo Acutis wrote, “The more we receive the Eucharist, the more we become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” A miracle has recently been approved in the cause for his sainthood, and it is a strong possibility that he will be beatified sometime this year, drawing our attention to the miracle of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. A Joyous Update!: It was just announced that Carlo Acutis will be beatified in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assissi (Where Carlo is buried), on Saturday October 10th, at 4 pm — In the presence of his parents and siblings.
“Behold God’s Love for You!”