FILIPINO FAMILY: MISSIONARY DISCIPLES OF THE EUCHARIST
I. EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES
A. Lanciano, Italy, ca. 700 A.D.
A priest from Lanciano, Italy, doubted the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He was shown a miracle when during the consecration of the Mass, the bread became flesh; the wine turned into real blood.
Scientific Studies. A rigorous scientific analysis was performed in 1970-71 by Dr. Odorardo, University Professor in anatomy and pathological histology and in chemistry and clinical microscopy, Head Physician of the United Hospitals of Arezzo. Prof. Linoli was assisted by Prof. Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, a Professor Emeritus of anatomy at the University of Siena. The research done on the fragments of the Blood and the Flesh yielded the following results:
- The Blood: real blood and the Flesh is real flesh.
- The Flesh: of the muscular tissue of the myocardium (heart wall).
- The Blood and the Flesh belong to the human species.
- The blood type is identical in the Blood and in the Flesh, type AB.
- The proteins in the blood are in the same proportions as those found in normal fresh blood.
- There is no trace whatsoever of any materials or agents used for preservation of flesh or blood.
B. Santarem, Portugal, 1247
A strange case: A host brought to a sorceress started to bleed… Fear overcame her and she went home and put the Host in a trunk, wrapped in her handkerchief and covered with clean linen. During the night she and her husband were awakened by a bright light coming from the trunk which illuminated the room. The wife told her husband of the incident and that the trunk contained a Consecrated Host. Both spent the night on their knees in adoration. A priest was called and took the Host back to the church and sealed it in melted beeswax.
C. Siena, Italy – 1330
A priest in Cassia, Italy was called to give communion to a sick person. Being in a hurry, he improperly put the sacred host between the pages of his prayer book. Arriving at the house of the sick person, the priest was shocked to see the sacred host full of blood. It was later found out it was a miracle within a miracle: the profile of the face of Jesus could be seen imprinted in the sacred host. Up to this day the sacred host is preserved despite its exposure to natural elements.
D. Betania, Venezuela, 1991
This miracle occurred during Mass in Betania, Venezuela, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1991. A Consecrated Host, truly the flesh of Our Lord, began to bleed. A subsequent medical team concluded that the material extruded from the Host was blood of human origin. The local bishop declared it a sign of transubstantiation saying, “God is trying to manifest to us that our faith in the consecrated Host is authentic.”
Science, when called to testify, has confirmed what we have believed in Faith and what the Catholic Church has taught for the last 2,000 years; echoing the words of Christ, “My Flesh is real food; my Blood real drink. Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood dwells continually in Me and I dwell in him.“-John 6:56-57
II. THE EUCHARISTIC FILIPINOS
If ever there is one great trait of the Filipino we can speak of, it is the Filipino’s being Eucharistic. The marks of Eucharistic spirituality are our “jewels in the rags,” to borrow Fr. Horacio dela Costa’s phrase.
♥ THE EUCHARIST IS A CELEBRATION OF JOY
We, Filipinos, are the 3rd Happiest People in Asia next to India. This is according to the annual results of the World Happiness Report (WHR) came out on 20 March 2020. When most of the world’s citizens are worried and fretful about convid 19 & the lockdown, we, Filipinos, have joy and peace — a deep sense of God’s love that overshadows us.
♥ THE EUCHARIST IS A CELEBRATION OF THE COMMUNITY
The Filipino has a sense of community, a sense of family. Filipino Christians, here and abroad, love to stay together, closely. Almost everywhere in the world, where there is a Catholic church, there you’d find Filipinos if not singing in the choir, they just sit together, during Sunday masses. We, Filipinos, are family related by faith.
♥ THE EUCHARIST IS A CELEBRATION OF LOVE
Our love for God is so deep. In times of success or joy, the Filipino gives thanks to God. In times of pain and suffering, he cries out to God for help and consolation. And finally at the hour of his death, he calls for a priest for the Last Rites.
And we are famous around the world for our love for the Blessed Mother. We call her “Mama Mary” and “Mahal na Ina” or “Beloved Mother.” We are a love-celebrating people. Our fiestas, our sacramental and other celebrations are celebrations of multi-faceted relationships.
♥ THE EUCHARIST IS A CELEBRATION OF OUR FAMILY MISSION
The Philippines is a Catholic nation — the only such nation in Asia — and this wonderful country exports missionaries around the world.
We, Filipinos, can easily relate with God’s gift of the Eucharist because of the many inherent and acquired gifts we have.
As God touches us through the Eucharist, we are a touching loving people too. And we not afraid to show it. We almost inevitably create human chains with our perennial akbay, hawak-kamay, yakap, kapit-bisig, himas, kalabit or kalong.
The Eucharist is timeless. Filipinos are “timeless” too. Except on very formal or official functions- we still measure time not with hours and minutes but with “feeling”. This style is ingrained deep in our psyche. Our time is diffused, not framed. Our appointments are defined by umaga, tanghali, hapon, or gabi. A Filipino event has no clear-cut beginning or ending. We have a fiesta, but there is bisperas. The Filipino Christmas is not confined to December 25th; it begins months before December and extends up to the first days of January. Notice too how we say good-bye to guests. Ika nga parang double-knit, laging nasasabit: goodbye sa comedor, goodbye sa sala, sa may pintuan, sa may hagdan, sa gate, at kung sasakay pa sa jeep, doon sa sakayan! Governed by timelessness, we show how to find more time to be nice, kind, and accommodating.
The Eucharist is “spaceless”. Filipinos are “spaceless” as well. As in the concept of time, our concept of space is not numerical. We will not usually express expanse of space with miles or kilometers but with feelings in how we say malayo or malapit. Alongside with numberlessness, Filipino space is also boundless. Indigenous culture did not divide land into private lots but kept it open for all to partake of its abundance. For example, the interior of the bahay-kubo: receiving room, sleeping room, kitchen, dining room, chapel, wake parlor, etc. Depending on the time of the day or the needs of the moment. Notice how provincial folks dry palayan (rice grain) on the highways? Religious groups of various persuasions habitually and matter-of-factly commandeer the streets for processions and parades. Filipinos eat, sleep, chat, socialize, and even quarrel, nearly everywhere or just anywhere! “Spacelessness” can be unlawful and may really be counter-productive. But also it is just another manifestation of our spiritual and communal values. It counter balances humanity’s greed, selfishness and isolation.