The Eucharistic Miracle of Amsterdam
About the Eucharistic Miracle of Amsterdam:
On March 15, 1345 as a man lay in bed, sick and dying, a priest came to administer Last Rites. After Confession the sick man received Holy Communion, but soon afterward he vomited. The woman caring for him swept it up, including the vomited Host, and threw it into the fire in the hearth. The next morning, however, after stirring the coals to rekindle the fire, she noticed the Host floating above the flames, still intact. She reverently placed the Blessed Sacrament in a clean linen cloth and put it in a linen chest. She sent for a priest, who silently brought the Host to St. Nicholas Church, now called ‘The Old Church’.
To everyone’s surprise, however, the next morning the Host was again found in the linen chest. The priest came for a second time, taking the Host back to St. Nicholas’s, yet the following day the Host was again in the chest. These unusual events made the priest realize that God did not want the miracle of the Host to be kept secret. After discussing the matter with his superiors, he had the Eucharistic Body of the Lord brought back along the same route from the house to the parish church, but this time in solemn procession with the clergy and faithful.
One year later the Bishop of Utrecht, having completed an official investigation, proclaimed the miracle’s credibility. The Solemnity of the Blessed Sacrament was then established as an annual Feast Day – not only for the Church, but for the whole town as well – including the yearly repetition of the solemn procession.
About the Chapel of the Beguines:
The house in which the Eucharistic Miracle occurred was made into a chapel. The Chapel of the Beguines now has daily Eucharistic Adoration held in commemoration of the miracle. The Host itself no longer exists, as it began to deteriorate several years after the miracle occurred.
The Silent Walk of Amsterdam:
Beginning on the Wednesday after the 12th of March each year, a festival is held to celebrate the anniversary of the Miracle, culminating in a silent walk (stille omgang) that begins Saturday evening and ending Sunday morning . This had its beginnings in 1881, as the era of persecution ended and the practice of the Catholic faith was once again allowed. Both Catholics and non-Catholics participate in this annual pilgrimage which takes place during Lent.
You can visit the website of the walk for details.
Finding the Chapel of the Beguines:
Address: Begijnhof 30, Amsterdam, Netherlands
GPS coordinates: 52° 22′ 8.7024” N, 4° 53′ 23.2404” E
Tel: +31 20 622 1918
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Eucharistic Miracle of Amsterdam.