This Eucharistic miracle goes back to 1347. In St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg, during Communion, the consecrated Host changed into bleeding flesh. A portion of the Host, to this day, is kept in Louvain by the Augustinian Fathers. The monk, Jean de Gheest, confessor of the Archbishop who approved its cult, asked for It as a gift. Instead, the other portion is in St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg.
The oldest documents concerning the Holy Blood of Bruges date back to 1256. The Holy Blood probably was part of a group of relics of the Passion of Christ preserved at the imperial museum of Bucoleon in Constantinople (modern Istanbul). In 1203 Constantinople was besieged and conquered by the crusaders. Baldovin IX, Count of Flanders, after being crowned as the new emperor, sent the relic of the Precious Blood to his native country at Bruges.
“Even though the Eucharist is solemnly celebrated every day of the year, on one day we pay special honor to the Body of Christ. We may, of course, invoke the Lord with our minds and our spirits at any time, but we do not in this way obtain the Real Presence of Christ. With the Eucharistic commemoration, however, Jesus Christ is actually present with us in his own substance. As the risen Christ told us prior to his Ascension: ’And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’ (Mt.28, 20) …He would remain and be with them even by His bodily presence.” Pope Urban IV: TRANSITURUS DE HOC MUNDO
In the Eucharistic Miracle of Herentals, some Hosts that had been previously stolen were found after eight days perfectly intact, in spite of the rain. The Hosts were found in a field near a rabbit burrow, surrounded by a bright light and arranged in the form of a cross. Every year, two paintings of the Antoon van Ysendyck, depicting the miracle, are taken in procession to the field where a small shrine was built – De Hegge. Here a commemorative Mass is celebrated before numerous people. The two paintings are presently kept in the Cathedral of Sint-Waldetrudiskerk ad Herentals.
In the Eucharistic Miracle at Bois-Seigneur-Isaac, the consecrated Host bled and stained the corporal. On May 3, 1413, the Bishop of Cambrai, Peter d’Ailly, authorized the devotion of the holy relic of the miracle along with a solemn procession. The first procession took place in 1414. On January 13th, 1424, Pope Martin V approved the building of the Monastery of Bois-Seigneur-Isaac. Today the monastery is the goal of pilgrimages. The corporal stained with blood is exposed to view in the chapel.
In the Cathedral of Brussels there are many artistic testimonies to a Eucharistic miracle verified in 1370. Desecrators stole Hosts and struck at them with knives
as a way of showing their rebellion. From these particles came a flow of living blood. This miracle was celebrated up until some decades ago. There are many reliquaries of different eras that were used to contain the miraculous Hosts of the miracle of the Blessed Sacrament that have been kept to this day in the museum close to the cathedral in an ancient chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. There are tapestries of the 18th century which represent the miraculous event.
In the Cathedral of St. Quintinus in Hasselt is exposed the relic of the Eucharistic miracle that took place in Herkenrode in 1317. During the course of the centuries, many tests were done to ascertain the miraculous preservation of the consecrated Host from which blood came forth. We recall the one done in the 18th century by the Apostolic Nuncio Carafa and the Bishop of Liège or the one done by the Archbishop of Malines during a visit of the Archduchess Isabel. In the cathedral we also find numerous paintings depicting the miracle, done by a pupil of Jordaens, Jan.