Monday, July 15, 2013

Eucharistic Miracle of St. Bonaventure, Seraphic Doctor of the Church

(Feast: July 15)

Not all Eucharistic Miracles are accompanied by visions.

On his deathbed our Saint longed with all the ardour of his seraphic soul for the sweet intercourse of Sacramental Communion. But the cause just mentioned made this impossible [i.e. his infirm state of health with a certain unknown type of epidemic that do not allow him to receive Communion]. Still, as far as possible to appease his pious longing, the Consecrated Host was brought into his room and placed beside him, so that his eyes might rest upon it. This only intensified his desire, until it would appear that the Lord could no longer withstand the ardour of his pleadings. A wonderful thing was then seen to happen. Without any visible agency the Sacred Host left the ciborium and, moving through the air towards the dying Saint, vanished within his breast!

At an earlier period in his life a somewhat similar occurrence is recorded. Bartholomew of Pisa and the author of the Chronicles of the Twenty-four Generals relate that, on a certain occasion, the pious General [Bonaventure], thinking himself unworthy, abstained for a long time from saying Holy Mass. But the Lord was touched by his humility, and one day as he was devoutly hearing Mass, a particle of the Consecrated Host, solely at the command of the Saviour, left the altar and entered his mouth, filling his soul with divine sweetness. It may be that both records are but different versions of the same fact, and we may doubt which of them is authentic. But if Bonaventure's malady were such as described, we should like to think that the Lord, pitying the loneliness and extremity of His dying servant, afforded him, even by a miracle, the supreme consolation which his passing spirit sighed for.

Saint Bonaventure:
The Seraphic Doctor
Minister-General of the Franciscan Order
Cardinal Bishop of Albano
by Rev. Fr. Laurence Costelloe, O.F.M.
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