I want to study the Eucharistic Miracle that happened in Buenos Aires, 1996. Does someone know if there are some official documents of the Vatican, or another Catholic Church authority?

I just find information in blogs, videos, and other non-official pages.

4 Answers 4


There is no official Vatican online reference to this alleged miracle, so I did some basic research.

The first thing I noticed is that the details of the 1996 miracle vary according to the source of the story, with at least three variants as to where the host was found. This is typical of urban myths, but by itself that is not enough to disprove the story. The Australian Catholic Weekly, which is not an 'official' source, was asked whether Pope Francis had approved the miracle, and printed an article that says that Francis had investigated the claim before becoming pope. Whether or not Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) was impressed with what he was told, it appears that the pope is not moving to have this recognised as a miracle.

This article from Gospa Missions says, "Although this miracle awaits further confirmation in the Church ..." indicating that the Catholic Church has not (yet) accepted the purported miracle.

One source says that Professor John Walker, of Sydney University, had confirmed that the material given to him was human flesh. Sydney University publishes a list of academic staff and, although it reports no Professor John Walker, it appears that a Dr. John Walker had been on the University faculty until 1987, nine years before the supposed miracle, but he worked in medical parasitology. The late Professor Frederick Zugibe is also credited with having tested the specimen and verified that it came from a living heart. This important investigation is not found in any of the biographies that I have found on Zugibe.

A post on the Catholic Answers forum claims the purported miracle to be a fraud, because the Higher Council of the World Health Organization, which supposedly confirmed the findings of Dr. Edoardo Linoli, does not exist.

One could ask why God would perform this obscure miracle in just this way, and the most plausible reason would be either to bring people back to the faith, or to assist the finances of a struggling church in Argentina.

  • Verifying some of those details would make for a good Skeptics question!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 23:03
  • 1
    @curiousdannii I have no control over where this question was asked, but I do tend to agree with you. Both answers (including mine) sought unsuccessfully to find the official documents being sought, and both answers provided the results of some online research. I took my research to a second level, to establish how valid the claims are. Commented May 29, 2015 at 23:20
  • 1
    Catholic Answers removed the forum, so this link is no longer useful. Here is a wayback snapshot. I will also edit the post. web.archive.org/web/20150427065504/http://forums.catholic.com/…
    – jaredad7
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 15:42

I hoped it would be in Joan Carrol Cruz's book Eucharistic Miracles but looks like it is not, probably because it is too modern of a miracle.

However, there is another book called Eucharistic Miracles of the World. I haven't read it but it appears to be published by the Vatican.

I'm not sure how this is legal, but I found excerpts on therealpresence.org.

If you scroll down a bit, there's a section on Argentina and the miracle you reference is there.

The parish of Saint Mary in Buenos Aires has been the protagonist of 3 Eucharistic Miracles that occurred in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Professor Ricardo Castañon Gomez was called by the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, none other than the current Pope Francis, to analyze the Miracle that occurred on August 15 of 1996.

Sounds pretty cool. Hope it brought a lot of people back into the faith!


Where can I find official documents of Buenos Aires' Eucharistic Miracle?

There are no known “official” published documents about the Buenos Aires' Eucharistic Miracle. Neither the Vatican nor the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires have formally published an official stance one the issue. In most circumstances regarding miracles, it is the diocese in question that would recognize a particular miraculous occurrence. Once in awhile, the Vatican will also approve some miracles and/or apparitions.

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio would go every year to the Parish of Santa Maria, and kneel for an hour to do Eucharistic adoration. So far, the case is called a Eucharistic “sign” and not a miracle. The Host remains exposed on the altar on the left side of St. Mary’s Parish in Buenos Aires, in a chapel dedicated to Eucharistic adoration. Without any official approval coming from the archdiocese, the fact that it is exposed periodically for veneration speaks volumes. (Source)

Archbishop Bergoglio, an academician and a chemist, ordered a scientific investigation into the alleged miraculous host. The results were quite astonishing.

The parish of Saint Mary in Buenos Aires has been the protagonist of 3 Eucharistic Miracles that occurred in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Professor Ricardo Castañon Gomez was called by the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, none other than the current Pope Francis, to analyze the Miracle that occurred on August 15 of 1996.

Bishop Bergoglio decided to have the host photographed. The photographs, taken on September 6th, show that the host had grown in size and had the appearance of a piece of bloody flesh. After three years, when there was no decomposition of this apparent flesh, Bishop Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed. The testing began in October of 1999.

In 2005, Dr. Frederic Zugibe, a cardiologist and forensic pathologist, announced his findings:

The analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle, close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. The left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflamed state and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. I affirm that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism; they require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicated that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.

The tests were witnessed, but Dr. Zugibe did not know the origin of the sample. After he submitted his findings, he was told that the sample was taken from tissue found in 1996. Zugibe responded:

You have to explain one thing to me: If this sample came from a dead person, how could it be that while I was examining it, the cells of the sample were moving and pulsating? If the heart came from someone who died in 1996, how could it still be alive?

It was only at this point that Zugibe learned that the sample came from a consecrated host. He exclaimed: “This will remain an inexplicable mystery to science—a mystery totally beyond her competence.”

Note that similar statements have been made about the liquefied blood in the regularly recurring miracle at Lanciano. That blood has been clinically determined to react in tests the same way as does the blood in living persons. An extensive study of the Lanciano material was released in 1976, after being confirmed by a scientific commission appointed by the World Health Organization.

A Eucharistic miracle when Bergoglio was an auxiliary bishop

For more information about this subject matter the following may be of interest:

  • Wondering if there is any non-catholic source on Dr Zugibe's investigation? Might be hard to come around, but nevertheless I'm wondering if someone else has reported on this ... Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 17:47

This miracle is mentioned in the National Catholic Register:

Then Gomez arranged to compare those lab reports with the ones from the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy. That miracle took place during the eighth century. A priest-monk suffered from doubts about Transubstantiation, wondering if the bread and wine really did become the Body and Blood of Christ. He prayed for help believing it was true. At the Consecration of one of his Masses, the Host changed into a circle of flesh, and the wine became blood before the eyes of numerous witnesses. *The Host-turned-flesh and the wine-turned-blood, without the use of any form of preservative, are still present more than 1,300 years later in a reliquary at St. Francis Church in Lanciano. They have been scientifically tested a number of times, with the last one being in 1970.

Again, without revealing the origin of the test samples, the experts compared the Buenos Aires lab reports with those from Lanciano. They concluded that the reports must be from the same samples. Both samples revealed an “AB”-positive blood type, which occurs in 5% of the population. The DNA is identical, and there are features to indicate that the man came from the Middle East. (It is also noteworthy that these lab results match up with those from the Shroud of Turin and the Cloth of Oviedo.)

  • Welcome! Thanks for contributing. I've edited your answer to focus on answering the question itself. If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll take a minute to take the tour and learn how this site is different from others. Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 0:51
  • Research on the Turin Shroud has identified DNA from everywhere around the globe, simply proving that people from as far away as China have touched it. No more. So how can the alleged DNA from the eucharist match up with those from the Shroud? Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .