SIMPSONVILLE—The Vatican International Exhibition: Eucharistic Miracles of the World is making an appearance at St. Mary Magdalene Church June 24-26.
Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa, of Eternal Word Television Network, is the guest speaker.
One of his favorite miracles, which he has seen in person, is from Lanciano, Italy. A priest from that area was having doubts about the real presence of the Eucharist when the host was transformed into flesh and blood, renewing his faith.
Father Pacwa said the samples have undergone extensive scientific examination and can only be explained as a miracle. Reports state that the flesh is actually cardiac tissue that contains arterioles, veins, and nerve fibers, and the blood type is AB.
“It’s quite astounding,” he said. “Any miracle in general is going to be a phenomenon that can’t be explained by nature.”
The international exhibit on eucharistic miracles was created by Carlo Acutis, from Milan, Italy, when he was 15, with the help of his mother, Antonia Salzano Acutis, a curator at the Pontifical Academy Coltorum Martyrum in Rome.
Carlo died of leukemia in 2006 and his cause for beatification will be presented in the Archdiocese of Milan in October.
Father Pacwa said he’s seen the exhibit before and, with 126 items, noted that it takes almost two hours to see everything. He demurs that he’s not an expert on the subject.
“I’m just a pretty face on TV, which shows you how bad the budget is,” Father Pacwa said with a self-deprecating chuckle.
He grows serious as he talks about his lecture topic, which delves into the Eucharist from the perspective of Scripture. Fluent in both Hebrew and Arabic, he wants people to see the link between the language in the Old Testament and what Jesus preached later.
Language wasn’t used the same way in ancient times as it is now, Father Pacwa said.
An example in Scripture is when Jesus tells his people “Do this in remembrance of me.” Do was a word used in the Old Testament in reference to the daily sacrifice of lambs, the priest explained. What Jesus is telling us is: Make this sacrifice in memorial to me.
Father Pacwa said this is just one of the topics he focuses on as a speaker. He also delves into Islam — a truly complicated subject — and everyday miracles.
Miracles happen all the time through prayer and faith, and include anything that is shown to be supernatural, without explanation, the priest said.
“Keep in mind that God is in charge of the miraculous,” he said. “That is why praying ‘Thy will be done’ is a strong component.”
Heesun Devlin, promoter of the eucharistic miracles exhibition and member of St. Mary Magdalene, said she hopes Carlo’s story will encourage diocesan youth to become new adorers.
“The church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life of faith. These miracles are evident helps to believe in the Mystery of Faith,” she said.
Father Pacwa said it all boils down to faith, noting that seeing the exhibition provides reasons to believe in the blood and the body.
It is especially important to be strong Catholics in the face of secular attacks against religion and prayer, he added.
“I want us to say, ‘No! We’re going to be believers here!’” Father Pacwa said, “The more they attack our faith the more we will build it up.”