Word is out on eucharistic miracles

By  Tony Gosgnach, Catholic Register Special
  • December 7, 2012

HAMILTON, ONT. - The stopping of an incoming tsunami. The conversion of a staunch atheist. Various healings of mind and body.

Those are just some of 126 Vatican-recognized miracles attributed to the Eucharist whose stories were told during the latest instalment of a moving exhibit when it stopped at the mountain Knights of Columbus hall in Hamilton Nov. 26-29. Initiated locally about two-and-a-half years ago by Sharon Snaith, who serves as co-ordinator, the four-day Vatican International Exhibition of the Eucharistic Miracles of the World features text-and-visual accounts of the miracles told on 140 museum-quality boards. It has now visited about 10 locations in the Hamilton area.

“It’s the hope that these miracles would be presented or made available so anyone can come observe, read and have their hearts touched by the beautiful gift these are from God,” said Snaith.

The origin of the exhibit dates back to the vision of Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 at the age of 15 and whose beatification cause has been opened by the diocese of Milan, Italy. It was then picked up by promoter Msgr. Rafaello Martinelli, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Antonia Salzano Acutis of the Pontifical Academy Cultulorum Martyrum.
In North America, the Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association introduced it to the United States before Snaith’s sister, Carolyn Wharton, brought it to Vancouver in 2008. That led Snaith to stage it in Ontario.

Hamilton Bishop emeritus Anthony Tonnos, former Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Bergie and current Bishop Douglas Crosby all later gave their blessings to the project.

The first mini-exhibit was actually held in Toronto, at the annual Lift Jesus Higher rally, where thousands of people were exposed to it, before it moved on to a Couples for Christ conference and then to St. Margaret Mary parish in Hamilton, where it began its journey among local parishes.

Snaith said her goal is to stage the exhibit at two parishes a month during this Year of Faith.

The Knights of Columbus have been instrumental in supporting the latest event, providing the venue as well as funding for a simplified children’s version.

Snaith said attendees are mainly parishioners and school children and their reactions are as varied as the accounts of the miracles themselves.

“I’ve seen many, many people — in fact, even priests and a bishop — say they had no idea there were so many wonderful miracles that have happened through the grace of God.”

One wrote in the guest book: “So amazing and so awesome. Such beautiful stories of God’s amazing grace. What a blessing.”
Volunteer Adeline Foster decided to help stage the exhibit out of concern over the declining belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

“We want to inspire people … We want to bring back reverence for the Eucharist and the Mass.”

Snaith said logistics make it difficult to stage the exhibit outside the Hamilton-Burlington area at this time, but anyone interested in hosting it in their parish or venue can contact her at (905) 388-4071.

“These miracles … help our faith grow stronger and help us to love Jesus more. We’re privileged to be a part of this,” she said.

(Gosgnach is a freelance writer in Hamilton, Ont.)

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