Santarem, the main town in the Ribatejo region, is known as the Gothic capital of Portugal, with its churches and convents which are true artistic marvels.
Miracle of Santarem
One of its churches, that of Saint Etienne, is also referred to as the church of the miracle, because it houses the relic of a Eucharistic prodigy that occurred in 1247.
This event, which some place on the other hand in 1266, is similar in many respects to that of Alatri.
A poor woman, exasperated at seeing herself continually deceived by her husband, called on a witch to win him back.
The witch replied that a powerful spell was needed. But the woman said she was ready for anything.
The witch added that to prepare an effective spell she needed a consecrated host.
The woman was perplexed, but she was so unhappy that at a certain moment she resigned herself to performing this sacrilegious gesture.
She went to communion in the church of Saint Etienne, then she concealed the host in a veil and carried it to the witch.
Now, on the way, drops of blood began to fall from the veil which contained the consecrated host.
The woman hadn't noticed, but other people stopped her, worried that she was losing blood.
The woman then noticed that it came from the veil which enveloped the host.
She was frightened by this, and for fear that her wrongdoing would be discovered, ran home instead of going to the witch.
Her husband was at work and the woman hid the veil with the host in a wooden box.
In the evening, her husband came home and, as usual, he was nervous and mean.
During the night, the couple were awakened by mysterious noises and by a strange light coming from the wooden box where the woman had hidden the host.
The light was so intense that it lit up the whole room.
Then the upset woman confessed what she had done.
The man got up, went to open the casket and noticed that this light did indeed come from the host wrapped in the veil.
He was moved by it and, with his wife, knelt before the prodigy, remaining long in adoration.
Early in the morning, he went to inform the priest, who also came to see this marvelous light.
The neighbors also came running and witnessed the miracle.
The priest carried the luminous host into the church.
This return was made in great procession and solemnity, and with the help of a large crowd, because the event had moved and amazed everyone.
The host was placed in a box of wax and placed in the tabernacle.
But the next day, when the priest went to check, he found the box shattered, while the host was inside a glass phial with a beak so narrow that it could not have been there in any way. pass entirely.
And yet, there she was, perfectly intact.
As has been proven, this very fine glass vessel, blown glass, was created for the host.