For 290 years, 223 consecrated hosts have been preserved.


Father Giulio Maria Scozzaro

In Siena, in the Basilica of St. Francis, 223 consecrated Hosts have been preserved for 290 years and have remained miraculously intact ever since, against all physical and biological laws.

One of the most reliable documents about the Prodigy is a memoir of 1730, written by a certain Macchi. But let's see exactly what happened. On August 14, 1730, unknown thieves broke into the church of St. Francis of Siena, owned by the Friars Minor Conventual, and stole the pyx containing 351 consecrated Hosts.

As soon as the theft was discovered, the famous Palio was also suspended as a sign of reparation. Despite the diligent search carried out by the religious and civil authorities, the Sacred Hosts were found, by chance, on the morning of August 17 in the nearby Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Provenzano, where the sacrilegious thieves had hidden them inside the alms box among dust and cobwebs.

The Hosts were then piously cleaned, examined and duly identified as the stolen ones.

The whole town hastened to pay homage to the Holy Hosts in a solemn procession, which were carried back to San Francisco in a jubilation of songs and prayers.

Meanwhile, time passed, but no sign of alteration could be seen in them, unlike what might be expected. Several times, decades later, illustrious men examined them by all the means that progress put within their reach, multiplying the causes and the elements that should favor their corruption (decantation, agitation, contact, contact, counting, dust, humidity, etc.).

** But science has always concluded its examinations by affirming that "the Sacred Particles are still fresh, intact, physically incorrupt, chemically pure and do not present any principle of corruption". **

Archbishop Tiberius Borghese also ordered a counter-examination: he had some unconsecrated hosts sealed in a tin box sealed for 10 years. When the box was reopened, the scientific commission in charge found only maggots and putrefied fragments instead of the unconsecrated hosts.

The final examination was authorized by Pope St. Pius X and was attended by distinguished scholars. This was the verdict of the commission, made up of eminent professors of bromatology, hygiene, chemistry and pharmacy, which conducted the great scientific examination on June 10, 1914.

The report they drew up stated: *"The Sante Particole di Siena are a classic example of the perfect preservation of the unleavened bread particles consecrated in the year 1730, and constitute a singular phenomenon, throbbing with actuality which reverses the natural laws of the preservation of organic matter. It is a unique fact enshrined in the annals of science." *

The direct and immediate results were renewed in 1922, when Card. Giovanni Tacci transferred the Sacred Hosts to a cylinder of pure rock crystal; in 1950, when they were placed in a more precious monstrance.

Object of awe, admiration and veneration by groups, organized pilgrimages, personalities, ecclesiastical dignitaries and lay people, the Sacred Hosts were also adored by His Holiness John Paul II, during his pastoral visit to the city of Siena on September 14, 1980.

On that occasion, after listening to their story, moved, he exclaimed: "It is the Presence!

The permanent Eucharistic Miracle of Siena, for which time has stopped, offers everyone - from the most skeptical to the most distracted - the possibility of seeing with their own eyes and touching with their own hands one of the greatest wonders of Christ on earth, before which even Science has bowed its head.

The great scientist Enrico Medi, spiritual son of Padre Pio, expressed himself thus with regard to the Miracle of Siena: "This direct intervention of God is the miracle in the strict sense of the word, miraculously realized and maintained for centuries, testifying to the permanent reality of Christ in the Eucharistic Sacrament. In these times, so difficult for Christianity and for the Church, in which false doctrines resurface that would want to skew our Faith, the city of Siena raises its sign and shows the world its miracle".