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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Seventeen years ago, a priest at the Church of Santa Maria in Buenos Aires was tidying up when he discovered two small pieces of a Eucharistic host on the altar. Church rules told him exactly what to do in such a situation, and he followed them to the letter - placing the pieces of host in a chalice with water to dissolve, then putting the chalice into a tabernacle.
Such small gestures of respect for the Eucharist are common in Catholic parishes all around the world, but what followed was anything but.
Week - May - Feast - Lady - Lujan
One week later - on May 8, feast of Our Lady of Lujan, patroness of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay - the priest checked the chalice. Astonished, he reported that the water had turned a deep red, like the color of blood. An “informal” analysis at the time suggested it was indeed blood, but little more was done to investigate.
That, however, wasn’t the end of the story.
Years - Minister - Communion - Mass - Santa
Two years later, a Eucharistic minister distributing Communion during a Mass at Santa Maria claimed to see a drop of blood fall inside a chalice. Two years after that, on the feast of the Assumption, a host that had fallen to the floor during Mass was once again placed in water at Santa Maria, and it too turned into what was believed to be blood.
As the parish’s fame for such happenings grew, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires at the time - who today is Pope Francis - asked for tests. A local doctor named Ricardo Catañón took a sample from what had become known by then as the “1992 Sign” and sent it to a lab in San Francisco.
Results - Lab - Substance - Tissue - Analysis
When the results came back, the lab reported the substance “could be” human tissue. Another analysis by a doctor in...
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