A bleeding Host, which showed signs of a Eucharistic miracle, was approved for veneration in Poland on April 17. Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica made the announcement and asked the vicar of St. Jack’s Church, where the host originated, to prepare a suitable place to display the relic. He also requested a new registry be made to record any other miracles associated with the relic.
On Christmas Day 2013, a host was dropped on the floor and, after being retrieved, was placed in a water-filled container in accordance with standard Catholic Church procedure. Soon after this, red stains started to appear on the host. Following this discovery, the former bishop of Legnica, Stephan Cichy, set up a commission to observe the phenomenon. That February, a small sample was separated from the host and placed on a corporal. This sample was then shipped to the Polish Department of Forensic Medicine for analysis.
After they analyzed the host, the Department of Forensic Medicine stated that, “In the histopathological image, the fragments of tissue have been found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle...[The whole] is most similar to the heart muscle with alterations that often appear during the agony. The genetic researches indicate the human origin of the tissue.”
In January 2016, a commission set up by Bishop Cichy presented its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which had conducted its own investigation into the host. Both groups concluded that the relic could be venerated by the faithful as a Eucharistic Miracle. Father Andrzej Ziombrze of St. Jack’s Parish was charged with preparing the host for veneration and teaching his parishioners about the proper attitude towards the relic.
“I hope that this will serve to deepen the cult of the Eucharist and will have deep impact on the lives of people facing the Relic,” said Bishop Kiernikowski. “We see the mysterious Sign as an extraordinary act of love and goodness of God, who comes to humans in ultimate humiliation.”
The announcement of this Eucharistic Miracle coincides with the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of Duke Mieszko I, which led to the Polish nation to convert to Christianity. The Polish President Andrzej Duda has previously stated that, “The baptism of Duke Mieszko I is the most important event in the entire history of the Polish state and nation. I do not say it was, I say it is, for the decision taken by our first historical ruler had predetermined the whole future to come for our country.” The Polish Church endured many struggles during its 1050-year history, most recently Nazi oppression during World War II and the subsequent Communist regime.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, celebrated the new Eucharistic Miracle by saying Mass in Gniezno, the nation’s ancient capital. In a meeting with the Polish bishops Cardinal Parolin remarked that the Poles’ “faithfulness to God, to the Gospel and to the Holy See has garnered the respect and esteem of other nations and made the Church in Poland a bulwark of Christian faith and charity and a light in the darkness that has enshrouded Europe so many times.”