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In mid-March are held celebrations for the Eucharistic miracle of the Host Incarnate that involve many events including a festival of choirs.

This miracle, that occurred in Alatri in 1228, is recognized as one of the four eucharistic miracles along with those of Bolsena, Lanciano and Siena. The story is told in a bull of Pope Gregory IX to Bishop Giovanni V, also known by the name of ‘Fraterniatis Tuae’, and is represented pictorially in the cathedral walls of Alatri.

A young woman had suffered from an evil spell from an old woman who forced her to take a consecrated host, hold it in her mouth, hide it in a cloth and take it to the home owned by the old woman.

The host remained hidden for three days in a chest for the bread, a traditional old ciociaran cabinet in which bread was placed. When the young woman went to pick it up instead of bread she found a piece of human flesh. The young woman repented for her sacrilegious act and handed to the bishop the fragment of still bleeding flesh confessing her crime.

The relic of the miracle is still preserved in a chapel in the right aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

 


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