SAYVILLE — Just in time for the Feast of Corpus Christi on June 14, St. Lawrence the Martyr Church here is hoping to open the eyes of Long Island Catholics to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through an exhibition of eucharistic miracles that have occurred around the world throughout the centuries.
The exhibition, which will run June 13-17 beginning after 9 a.m. Mass Saturday, will feature placards displaying pictures and information from the Vatican International Exhibit on some of the many Vatican-approved miracles throughout Church history involving the Eucharist. “There are over 130 placards” available, noted Mary Fountaine, one of the main organizers. “We’re displaying 32 of those Eucharistic miracles.”
“I was teaching Confirmation classes and listening to the children speak about the Eucharist,” she explained, “and I realized they didn’t know about the real presence of Jesus in it. They didn’t genuflect in front of the Eucharist because they didn’t know better. I thought by introducing them to the power in the Eucharist” that it might raise awareness, respect, and devotion to the Eucharist.
“When I started, I didn’t realize that so many people had never heard of eucharistic miracles,” she said, “and I’m not talking about just children. I’m talking about adults.”
The exhibit has been made available to parishes around the world by the Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association, which aims to educate people about Jesus’ presence in and increase devotion to the Eucharist. “It hasn’t been done on Long Island before,” noted Fountaine, adding that she hopes eventually other parishes around the diocese will decide to host the exhibit.
Father Nicholas Figliola, pastor of St. Lawrence, explained that “we wanted to deepen the reality of Christ in the Eucharist. I think people will be edified that so many miracles have occurred in connection to the Eucharist.”
Father Figliola added that he hoped the exhibition would be a good teaching tool “for people who don’t know about these miracles” and that for people who are already aware, “that they will be supported in their devotion.”
While there is something special about all the miracles the parish chose to display, Fountaine admitted that one of her favorites was the one that occurred when St. Anthony of Padua was at Rimini, where he converted a heretic by getting his mule to genuflect before the Host.
In addition to the placards on display, there will be a eucharistic procession, followed by Benediction on June 14 after the 12:30 p.m. Mass. “I think people will be touched,” said Fountaine, “and I hope to open people to the power of the Eucharist. It’s not a symbol. It’s Christ Himself.”
For more information and exhibition hours, call Mary Fountaine at 631-589-1575.