A miracle happens every time Mass is celebrated in a Catholic Church. When the ordained priest speaks the words of Jesus from the Last Supper and invokes God and the Holy Spirit during consecration, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus, also known as the holy Eucharist. Although Jesus remains veiled under the humble appearance of bread and wine, it is truly Him. Sometimes, to strengthen our faith in this reality, God lifts the veil in a breathtaking, miraculous way. This is precisely what occurred in Sokółka, Poland, on Oct. 12, 2008.
On that day in Sokółka, as Mass was being celebrated at 8:30 a.m. at St. Anthony Church, a consecrated host fell from the hands of one of the priests as he was distributing holy Communion. The priest picked up the host and, in accordance with liturgical norms, placed it in a container of water normally located next to the tabernacle. The host was expected to dissolve in the water over time and then later be disposed of correctly.
At the end of Mass, the pastor asked Sister Julia Dubrowska, the parish sacristan, to pour the water and the host into a different enclosed container. She placed this container in the safe in the Church’s sacristy. Only Sister Julia and the pastor had keys to the safe.
On Oct. 19, the pastor asked Sister Julia to check if the host had dissolved for proper disposal. When she opened the locked safe and the container, she saw a curved, bright red stain in the middle of the host. The water was perfectly clear, but the stain looked like blood. She immediately informed the pastor, who brought several priests to observe what had happened. The priests were amazed but remained silent about this, knowing that the red stain could result from organic growth or some other natural cause.
On Oct. 29, the pastor contacted Archbishop Ozorowski, who came to examine the host with several priests and professors. The archbishop ordered that the host be protected, by removing it from the water, placing it on a pure white altar cloth, and keeping the container locked in the tabernacle. The host was kept this way for three years for observation.
Over time, the host, with the visible red blood stain or clot, dried out naturally and “fused” with the altar cloth. Since that time, its appearance has not changed. On Jan. 7, 2009, a sample of the bloodstained host was examined independently by two eminent specialists in pathological anatomy, Professor Maria Sobaniec-Lotowska, MD, and Professor Stanislaw Sulkowski, MD, at the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland, to ensure the credibility of the results. They used the most modern optical and electronic microscopes in the world. These two independent studies were exhaustively described and photographed.
The results of both independent studies were in perfect agreement and concluded that the structure of the blood-stained portion of the host is identical to the heart tissue of a living person nearing death. The structure of these heart muscle fibers is inseparably interconnected with the consecrated host. According to Professor Lotowski, this phenomenon would be impossible to achieve by any human means and is inexplicable by all natural sciences.
The studies also showed that the heart tissue had lesions, observable only in a living person, and signs of spasms typically preceding death. Additionally, the heart tissue did not undergo the process of self-destruction, which should have occurred after a short time. Further, the blood stain did not change in appearance despite varying environments, i.e., temperature.
This miracle could not have happened without God’s intervention. He allows additional miracles to confirm the Catholic Church’s teaching and help us believe that the Eucharist is truly the Real Presence of Jesus. In this Miracle of Sokółka, we gaze upon the very Heart of Jesus. What an amazing gift!
Director for Catechesis and Evangelization
Published in the September/October 2023 issue of Catholic Life Magazine