The Miracle of Santarem, Portugal

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

A poor housewife, suffering from her husband’s constant infidelity, decided to consult a Jewish sorceress. The witch promised that her husband would again love her like before, but under the condition that the housewife pay her with a consecrated Host. This very much frightened the women; she knew this to be a sacrilege, but finally yielded to the order. After receiving communion in her parish church of Saint Stephen, she immediately left the church taking the host out of her mouth and placing it in her head scarf. On her way to the sorceress house, the Host started to bleed. The woman did not realise this was happening until the people passing by informed her, thinking that she was bleeding. The woman started to panic. Running home, she placed the Host covered in the scarf at the bottom of a chest in her room. There she remained until night time, trembling with fear.

When her husband arrived late that evening, they went to sleep, though she probably found it hard to rest; The guilt of her sin tormented her. Then, in the darkness of the room, a great miracle occurred. From the chest brilliant rays of light shined through, waking the couple. Kneeling before the chest were angels adoring the bleeding Host. The woman could no longer contain herself and confessed the great sin to her husband. Both repented of their sins and spent the rest of the night kneeling in adoration and in reparation before the miraculous Host.

The next morning they informed the parish priest. He went to the house and heard the story from the woman. The priest returned the Host to the Church of St. Stephen in a solemn procession, accompanied by many priest and lay people. The host continued to bleed for three days. Finally it was decided to place the still bleeding Host in a reliquary made of beeswax. The Host has remained there ever since.

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