Tixtla, Mexico 2006
Our heavenly Father always desires to strengthen our belief that when we receive holy Communion during Mass, we receive the Son of God—Jesus Himself. Over the centuries, He has allowed amazing miracles of the Eucharist to confirm our faith in helping us grasp the reality of this miraculous event of the change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ that takes place during every Mass. The following describes a eucharistic miracle that took place in Tixtla, a town of 23,000 people in southwestern Mexico in 2006.
Father Leopoldo Roque of St. Martin of Tours Parish held a spiritual weekend retreat for his parishioners in October 2006. He invited a famous preacher he knew, Father Rayito, to take part.
During a retreat on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, two priests concelebrated a Mass for approximately 600 people. Two nuns assisted with the distribution of the Eucharist for holy Communion. Sister Arely Marroquín was holding a ciborium filled with consecrated hosts intended for distribution when she suddenly stopped and turned pale.
The woman standing right in front of Sister Arely witnessed what happened next. Sister Arely returned to the altar with teary eyes, knelt and showed Father Rayito the ciborium. One of the hosts was stained with blood and had a moist, crumbly texture. Father Rayito and Father Leopoldo quickly conferred with each other until Father Rayito exclaimed, “This seems like a miracle!” He publicly displayed the host that was stained with a few drops of fresh blood. Some people applauded, while others wept. Reflecting on that moment, Father Rayito would later describe it as “shocking, but also simple, sublime and eternal at the same time.”
Over the following weeks, Most Reverend Alejo Castro, the diocesan bishop, conducted interviews to establish facts. Seventeen statements were obtained from different individuals that confirmed the incident. The bishop appointed Dr. Ricardo Castañón to oversee the investigation of the Tixtla host. The bishop authorized Dr. Castañón to take small samples of the material and specifically asked that he determine whether the blood-like substance had been added to the host from the outside or originated from the inside. The bishop intended to rule out any potential fraud.
God wants to stir our attention. He desires that this eucharistic miracle, and all miracles of the Eucharist, help us to grow in our belief that, indeed, the consecrated host that we receive at holy Communion is Jesus.”
Dr. Castañón sampled three fragments of the apparently bloodstained host. Then, a series of investigations began that were finally concluded on Feb. 25, 2013. Dr. Castañón relied on several forensic medical laboratories in Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and the United States that specialized in immunohistochemistry and genetics. During the course of the analyses, the same findings were often verified multiple times by different scientists. The scientists themselves were also unaware of each other’s tests, and they did not know the origin of the material they were testing.
There are four scientifically inexplicable dimensions of the Tixtla consecrated host:
1. There is a thin filament of tissue in the center of the host from which blood is exuding. Histochemical tests indicate cardiac tissue. The tissue seems to be integrated with the host, which is scientifically inexplicable.
2. The cardiac tissue is alive. The presence of active red blood cells and white blood cells/macrophages in the process of healing was found in the examination. Because tissue dies shortly after being disconnected from a body and its circulatory system, the presence of living tissue and blood (after three months, the time between the miracle and the tests) is scientifically inexplicable.
3. The tissue exudes fresh blood from the inside to the outside of the host. Blood on the host’s exterior was produced in 2006, while blood on the inside of the host is fresh as of 2010, the time of this specific analysis. The pressure of natural flow is from the inside to the outside, which is scientifically inexplicable.
4. The DNA material is of human origin, but there is no amplifiable profile because we have no DNA profile of Jesus Christ.
Human living blood. The blood is human, specifically human hemoglobin (the substance in the blood that carries oxygen), whole blood, immunoglobulins, active red blood cells and active white blood cells, and macrophages engulfing lipids, blood type AB (the same as other eucharistic miracle hosts). Thus, the blood is fresh and living.
Flow of blood. There is living tissue seamlessly integrated in the center of the host in which there is a hole through which fresh blood is being produced and pushed from the interior of the host to the exterior of the host. There is no doubt that fresh blood is being produced and the flow is from the interior to the exterior.
Living heart tissue. Though it is difficult to directly identify striated cardiac muscle fibers, the presence of elongated cells (typical of striated cardiac muscle fibers) and other discoveries from the microscopic-molecular analysis strongly suggest that it is heart tissue. Furthermore, the heart tissue is living, as implied by active red blood cells and active white blood cells (showing dynamic activity) in the tissue.
The following is the official statement of the Catholic Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa:
“Technical reliefs and scientific studies highlight the authenticity and reality of an event far from any natural cause that science can explain.… Science ensures the reliability of the results by keeping them away from any type of natural artifact of human manipulation.… Therefore, the bishop of Chilpancingo-Chilapa has pronounced [that the event is attributable] to a supernatural cause.”
God wants to stir our attention. He desires that this eucharistic miracle, and all miracles of the Eucharist, help us to grow in our belief that, indeed, the consecrated host that we receive at holy Communion is Jesus. Christ loves us so much that He wants to remain within us. Let us receive Him in holy Communion and remain in His love by following His commandments. Jesus told us these things so that His joy may be in us and our joy may be full. (see Jn 15:10) After reading this article carefully, let us pray for the grace to have greater faith in the reality of Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist, and never fail to be thankful for the incredible gift of the Eucharist as well as these eucharistic miracles that He provides.
The Catholic Church deliberates very cautiously when it comes to these matters and takes a great deal of time to approve a eucharistic miracle so there is no chance of a mistake.
This miracle awaits the final official approval of the Holy See.
Compiled from a report by the Magis Center, Father Robert J. Spitzer S.J. and materials from The Real Presence Eucharist Education and Adoration Association.
Director of the Office for Catechesis and Evangelization
Published in the January/February 2024 issue of Catholic Life Magazine