Santarem, Portugal: Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem
The story of the Eucharistic Miracle in Santarem:
The tale of the Miracle involves a woman and her unfaithful husband. In a desperate attempt to save her marriage, the woman went to see a sorceress for help. The sorceress said she would grant the woman’s wish of renewing the husband’s fidelity: in exchange for the woman bringing her a consecrated Host. Reluctantly the woman decided to commit the sacrilege and steal a host. The woman went to Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, she received the Holy Eucharist in her mouth, then took the Sacred Host out of her mouth and wrapped it in her veil, and headed quickly out of the church.
Before she had taken more than a few steps, the Host began to bleed. It bled so much that it appeared as if she had cut her hand. Several concerned parishioners went to help her, but as they reached her, she ran out of the church.
Upon returning home, she threw the bloody Host into the bottom of an old trunk in her bedroom. As was his custom, her husband returned late that night. During the middle of the night, a mysterious light emanated from the trunk. When the couple awoke, the woman confessed to her husband what she had done. They then both knelt in adoration and repentance before the Miracle.
The next morning they told the parish priest what had happened. The Host was then placed in a wax container and solemnly returned to the Church of St. Stephen. Of course, upon hearing the news, the villagers hurried to the church to see and venerate the Miracle.
When the priest opened the tabernacle another miracle had taken place! The wax container holding the Sacred Host was found shattered in many pieces, and the Host was now enclosed in a crystal pyx. After an exhaustive investigation by ecclesiastical authorities, the Miracle was approved. It is believed that St. Francis Xavier visited the Church of the Holy Miracle before setting off for missionary work in India.
It is an article of our faith that the wine and bread literally become the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ during the Consecration, and to actually see it physically manifested is a wonderful experience.
The “Miracle Church” in Santarem:
Please note that the church is usually open during the day Wednesday through Sundays (closed during siesta time) but it might be best to call ahead just to be certain. Groups can–and should–call several days ahead to arrange private Masses here.
The miracle, as shown on this page, is preserved here in a reliquary atop a tabernacle for all to see. Other notable interior features of the church are four paintings that depict the miracle, and some impressive 16th century tiles.
Here is a video with Father Leo Patalinghug describing the miracle church here in Santarem plus the convent in Tomar.
Santarem is 45 miles north of Lisbon and just a few miles south of Fatima. There is frequent train service from Lisbon (Oriente station), taking a little under one hour. It is about 3/4 mile from the train station to the church so you may want to take a taxi.
Although its official name was the Church of Saint Stephen, it is now called “The Miracle Church” (Santuário do Santíssimo Milagre).
Address: Escadinhas do Milagre 6, 2000-069 Santarém, Portugal
GPS coordinates: 39° 14′ 0.4776” N, 8° 40′ 54.1632” W
Tel: +435-242-63786 or +435- 243-329 930
Click here for the official Diocesan website describing the church (in Portuguese…use Google translate)