Thursday 19 September 2019

Eucharistic Miracles - Joan Carroll Cruz - And Eucharistic Phenomenon in the Lives of the Saints

Eucharistic Miracles:
And Eucharistic Phenomenon in the Lives of the Saints
Joan Carroll Cruz
TAN Books
ISBN 9780895553034
eISBN 9780895559487

Two different books by Joan Carroll Cruz were recommended to me, this volume and The Incorruptibles: A Study of Incorruption in the Bodies of Various Saints and Beati. I picked up both but this was the first I have made it through. Both are on topics that fascinate and to be honest concern me a little. I love being part of a tradition that is so rich in history and to be honest miracles. I read this book slowly only reading a section or 2 a day at lunch. The only other book I have read on Eucharistic Miracles is Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids by Kathryn Griffin Swegart, and I began this one after finishing it because I wanted to go deeper on the subject. And this volume did not let down.

This book begins with a photo of consecrated hosts that have remained fresh and incorrupt for 250 years. From the Basilica of St Francis in Siena. They were stolen in 1730 and then recovered. They are the focus of chapter 16. The sections in this volume are:

Author’s Preface
Introduction: The Catholic Teaching on the Holy Eucharist

— Part One —

1. Lanciano, Italy—8th century
2. Braine, France—1153
3. Ferrara, Italy—1171
4. Augsburg, Germany—1194
5. Alatri, Italy—1228
6. Santarem, Portugal—early 13th century
7. Florence, Italy—1230 and 1595
8. Daroca, Spain—1239
9. Olmütz, Czechoslovakia—1242
10. Regensburg, Germany—1257
11. Bolsena-Orvieto, Italy—1263
12. Paris, France—1274 and 1290
13. Slavonice, Czechoslovakia—1280
14. Offida, Italy—1280
15. Hasselt, Belgium—1317
16. Siena, Italy—1330 and 1730
17. Blanot, France—1331
18. Amsterdam, The Netherlands—1345
19. Macerata, Italy—1356
20. Brussels, Belgium—1370
21. Middleburg-Louvain, Belgium—1374
22. Seefeld, Austria—1384
23. Dijon, France—before 1433
24. Avignon, France—1433
25. Turin, Italy—1453
26. Morrovalle, Italy—1560
27. Alcalá de Henares, Spain—1597
28. Faverney, France—1608
29. Paterno, Italy—1772
30. Bordeaux, France—1822
31. Dubna, Poland (now Dubna, Russia)—1867
32. The Two Miracles of Stich, West Germany—1970
33. More Eucharistic Miracles

— Part Two —

34. The Eucharistic Devotion of the Saints
35. Eucharistic Miracles and the Saints
36. Eucharistic Fasts
37. Raptures and Ecstasies
38. Miraculous Receptions of Holy Communion
39. Voices and Visions
40. Tears, Fire and Light
41. Levitation
42. The History of Eucharistic Devotion
43. The Holy Eucharist and Ourselves
44. Spiritual Communion
Selected Bibliography

It would have been very easy to rip through this book. But by slowing down and reading it over several weeks I was really able to focus and reflect upon the miracles presented in this volume. Some of them I have encountered before, but this volume goes into much more details. And many this was my first encounter with the events presented.

For the most part the stories in part one of the book are in chronological order. Only chapter 7, which focuses on a miracles in Florence in 1230 and 1595 and the final section are not a chronology. One of the things that amazed me most is that the miracles are almost always different. There may be some similar characteristics, the sight and smell of blood, the taste of blood or flesh, glowing and yet they are almost all unique. Much like the saints, no two saints because saintly by the exact same path, no two Eucharistic miracles are identical in how they happened.

We have stories of Eucharistic miracles going back to the first Christian communities. And some that extend right up into our lifetimes. I am especially fascinated by stories of saints and saintly people who lived for long periods on just the Eucharist for sustenance. And I really appreciated the last section on spiritual communion.

This book was a deeply moving read. And it was incredibly inspiring. I will likely return to it and read it again, maybe in a year or two and reread it with my children when they are a little older. And After reading this volume I have added a few more by Cruz to my to be read pile.

A great book for all Catholics. And will be eye opening to other discerning Christians.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other books by Joan Carroll Cruz:
Angels and Devils
Eucharistic Miracles
Lay Saints: Ascetics and Penitents
Lay Saints: Martyrs
Lay Saints: Models of Family Life
Lay Saints: The Noble and The Humble
Miraculous Images of Our Lady: 100 Famous Catholic Portraits and Statues
Miraculous Images of Our Lord: Famous Catholic Statues, Portraits and Crucifixes
Mysteries, Marvels and Miracles
Prayers and Heavenly Promises
Saintly Men of Modern Times
Saintly Women of Modern Times
Saints for the Sick: Heavenly Help for Those Who Suffer
Secular Saints: 250 Canonized and Beatified Lay Men, Women and Children
See How She Loves Us: 50 Approved Apparitions of Our Lady
The Incorruptibles: A Study of Incorruption in the Bodies of Various Saints and Beati

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