Marian Helper Spring_2013 - page 11

M
ARIAN
H
ELPER
• S
PRING
2013 •
9
physical and chemical activities of the brain to
human behavior), Dr. Castanon has been called
upon by the Vatican to conduct research
throughout the world.
His presentation moved many in the audi-
ence to tears.
“I found Dr. Castanon's talk
to be extremely powerful,”
said Shrine Rector Fr. Ken
Dos Santos, MIC. Father Ken
noted that the nature of Dr.
Castanon’s formal science edu-
cation—which “taught him
to be an atheist, to trust in
only what he can see, touch,
and demonstrate”—only
underscores the miraculous
nature of his current work.
“His work,” said Fr. Ken,
“echoes the sentiment of
Blessed John Paul II, who
said that faith and science
are like two wings leading
people to God.”
Beyond the shadow
of a doubt
If it’s the scientific method
people need to believe, then it’s
the scientific method that Dr.
Castanon can provide.
Indeed, there may not be
any better way to tear down
the barrier between science and faith than by
proving Christ’s declaration at the Last Super
when He held the bread and said, “This is My
body” and held the cup of wine and said, “This
is My blood” (Mk 14:22-24).
Among the most famous examples of such
proof is found in the Miracle of Lanciano in Italy,
in which a Host became Flesh and the wine
became Blood around 700. Studies throughout
the centuries have validated the claim.
In 1999, called in to research the alleged
Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires, Dr.
Castanon discovered incredible similarities
with the famous Host in Lanciano.
The Buenos Aires case began in 1996 when
a Host was accidently dropped during
Communion. As is the custom, the priest placed
the Host in a container of water and put it into
the Tabernacle, where it was expected to dis-
solve. Several days later, the priest was startled
to discover the Eucharist had grown in size and
was covered with red splotches. Eventually, the
Host looked like a piece of flesh.
Dr. Castanon had a sample from the
Host sent to Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a forensic
expert in New York who was told nothing
about the circumstances surrounding the
case so as to not prejudice the study. Dr.
Zugibe testified that the sample was a frag-
ment of a heart muscle and contained a
large number of white
blood cells, which is telling.
“It is my contention that
the heart was alive, since
white blood cells die outside a
living organism,” Dr. Zugibe
said. “They require a living
organism to sustain them.
Thus, their presence indicates
that the heart was alive when
the sample was taken. What
is more, these white blood
cells had penetrated the tis-
sue, which further indicates
that the heart had been
under severe stress, as if the
owner had been beaten
severely about the chest.”
‘I must talk about this’
Dr. Castanon said that he
and his colleagues were
astounded by this news.
When informed that the
analyzed sample came from a
consecrated Host, Dr. Zugibe
replied that it was an “inex-
plicable mystery to science —
a mystery totally beyond his competence.”
Moreover, Dr. Castanon said that the blood on
the Host in Buenos Aires is type AB— just like
that of Eucharistic miracles elsewhere, includ-
ing Lanciano, as well as the blood discovered on
the famous Shroud of Turin,
“I must talk about this,” Dr. Castanon said,
“because we have lost respect for the Eucharist.”
In his Shrine presentation, Dr. Castanon
also shared studies he and his team did on a
plaster statue of Jesus Christ in Bolivia that
began weeping and bleeding in 1995. An
X-ray revealed the statue had not been
tampered with. After isolating the statue
from all contact, Dr. Castanon captured the
phenomenon on video.
Upon taking samples of the more than 90
scabs that had formed on the statue, tests
revealed that the scabs were comprised of two-
thirds human blood and one-third plant material
—a thorn, possibly, that originated from a dry
environment “like Palestine,” Dr. Castanon said.
“When I see these things in the 21st century
… this is the hand of God,” Dr. Castanon said. “I
think this is a very special gift for us.”
MH
The Miracle of Lanciano (shown
in this reliquary) is officially
recognized by the Catholic Church
as a Eucharistic miracle. Around
700 in Lanciano, Italy, a Host
became Flesh and the wine Blood
as a doubting priest spoke the
Words of Consecration at Mass.
C
OURTESY OF
B
RYAN
T
HATCHER
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