CV NEWS FEED // “In an obscure village, without any social relevance, far from the urban area, the Lord chooses to manifest himself.”
So said the first bishop of the Diocese of Gracias in Honduras, his excellency Walter Guillén Soto, upon approving a new Eucharistic miracle that occurred in a rural parish in the small town of San Juan.
On June 9, 2022, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion named José Elmer Benítez Machado discovered a corporal – a linen cloth placed beneath the chalice at Mass – stained with blood in the tabernacle of the chapel of the El Espinal community.
Since the region does not have a priest based in the town, Benítez was appointed to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word and distribute communion to the faithful.
When he opened the tabernacle to retrieve the ciborium of consecrated hosts, the corporal (sacred linen cloth) was stained with what appeared to be human blood.
“I was amazed,” he told EWTN Noticias, the network’s Spanish-language news program. “My first hope was: ‘It’s the Blood of Christ.’”
Benítez called two priests of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who came the following day to confirm what he saw.
They transferred the corporal to Bishop Guillén’s keeping two days later.
The bishop waited for three months before requesting scientific tests to be conducted at a nearby medical center.
“I’m not that prone to naively believing in things. Logic makes us prudent, in terms of believing things without sifting through them and without analyzing them,” the bishop told EWTN Noticias.
After initial tests, the corporal was sent to a medical center in Tegucigalpa for further analysis, which confirmed that the blood was indeed human.
The blood type was AB with a positive Rh factor, identical to the blood found in both the Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano, Italy, and on the Shroud of Turin.
The tests also ruled out the possibility that the pattern of the blood stains was made artificially.
Bishop Guillén then officially recognized the occurrence as a Eucharistic miracle.
Out of prudence, he and priests of the diocese have not yet exposed the blood-stained corporal to the faithful for veneration, but have been first educating the faithful about the nature of such a miracle.
Archbishop Gábor Pintér, the apostolic nuncio in Honduras, has requested that the scientific evidence and notarized oaths of the witnesses be sent to the Vatican for further investigation.
Bishop Guillén made special note of the significance of the miracle happening to a lay person.
“It’s the time of the laity,” he said. “It is the faith of the laity that has kept alive the vitality of the Church in these corners of the world. For me and for the clergy of the diocese, it has been a call to conversion to recognize the call of God in the voice of the laity.”
Pending the Vatican’s approval, Gracias, Honduras, would be the fifth Eucharistic miracle to have taken place in Latin America.