By Matters India Reporter Read full story here
Vilakkannur, Jan , 2020: A Catholic parish in Kerala has sent its “miracle” Host to Rome for further studies as part of a process to declare it as a Eucharistic miracle.
A face resembling that of Jesus had appeared on the host during Mass on November 15, 2013, at the Christ the King Church, Vilakkannur, a parish under the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Tellicherry.
Baby Joseph Payikatt, a former trustee of the parish, said the host was taken to the Syro-Malabar Church’s headquarters at Kakkanad, a suburb of Kochi, on January 10 and handed it over to Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro the next day.
The nuncio had come to St Thomas Mount in Kakkanad to attend the Syro-Malabar Church’s January 7-15 synod.
The host has been venerated as a miracle at the Vilakkannur parish since September 21, 2018, when the archdiocese returned it after five years. Earlier, it was kept at the archbishop’s residence.
The parish organized special prayers and Mass on January 10 before seeing the parish team off to Kochi.
Payikatt said the parishioners are both sad and happy that the host was taken away from them. “We are sad that has gone from us, but at the same we are eagerly waiting to hear the good news,” he added.
The Vilakkannur parish has more than 500 families and 1,250 Catholics, most of them second and third generations of people who had migrated from Travancore last century.
Payikatt said hundreds of people used to come to pray in the parish in the past six years. He also claimed the phenomenon had brought considerable changes in the parishioners’ spiritual and social life.
The Tellicherry archdiocese had first taken the host away three days after the phenomenon occurred for observation and theological studies. As the host remained intact even after five years, the archdiocese brought it back to venerate it as a relic.
When the “miracle” occurred in 2013 thousands of people flocked to the Vilakkannur church, some 50 km east of Kannur town. The district administration had to intervene as the crowds blocked the road to Paithalmala, a major tourist place in northern Kerala.
The archdiocese took the Host away three days later saying it needed scientific study.
“Giving the Sacred Host to the Vilakkannur church does not mean that it has been officially accepted as a Eucharistic miracle,” the archbishop clarified.
He had forbidden the parish to keep the host on the main altar or to use it for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. “It should be kept on specially arranged place on a side altar along with other relics in the church,” he decreed.
The archbishop had also asked the parish to record signs and supernatural happenings and to preserve them in a scientific way and make them available for inspection and study by the Church authorities.
The archdiocesan magazine said the host had undergone extensive studies by the Church’s theological commission that indicated the phenomenon could be considered a Eucharistic miracle.