By Bishop Roman Danylak, Re: Julia Kim
It looked like a heart when we first examined the photos taken last September during Mass celebrated in a valley among the Naju hills in Korea. Later, I showed these photos to a pediatrician, Dr. Helen Owen. After, attentive examination, she said the heart in the photo was the size and had the exact configurations of the heart of an infant. Sebastian, the layman present during the celebration with his camera, calculated the thickness of the host turned heart in the mouth of Julia against a twig he had in his hand. The heart was about 5mm thick. The pediatrician further noted various particulars, the lines of the veins in the heart and other features. It was a perfect human heart, not like a valentine, but a real human heart, the size of the heart of a child.
It was 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22, 1995, when two priests, Fathers Joseph Finn of London, Ontario and Aloysius Chang,(Julias spiritual advisor) and I had concelebrated the Eucharist in an out-door service amidst the Korean mountains. There were sixteen Korean Catholic faithful present with Julia Kim, the Korean visionary, and ourselves, participating in this Mass. We had prepared the large white host, and a number of small white hosts together with the wine for the Eucharist. The three of us had concelebrated Mass a week before, Friday, Sept, 15, an hour later at six p.m. And we had to finish the celebration by car light as it was pitch dark. After that first Mass Julia came up to me with a question. She had seen a rainbow in the night sky at the time of the consecration, and asked me what could be its significance. The thought that occurred to me and that I shared with Julia through our translator, was about that first biblical rainbow after the great flood. God used it as a memorial to the first covenant He established between Himself and the renewed mankind. We had just celebrated the memorial of the final covenant in the Divine Liturgy, or Eucharist, when Julia saw her rainbow. For me it was the culmination of the day. I had been looking forward to this celebration with expectation, not in view of witnessing a miracle, but just to offer my daily Mass.
The only communications we had with Julia during the week were through her Korean translator, Raphael. Our life in Naju was lived from moment to moment. We never knew what each day would bring. We could plan nothing. Friday, Sept. 22, 1995, turned out to be a day of celebration. Fr. Finn and I were treated to a festive fish dinner at a sea-side restaurant near the Pacific. Julia and the group of the little community in Naju went all out to celebrate our visit, together with Korean sashimi and squirming fresh squid. After lunch we boarded our vans and continued to travel, with me wondering when we would celebrate Mass. It was after 4 p.m. when we drove into the compound of the valley that I knew we were to celebrate Holy Mass.
Banquet of the Lord
None of us even dreamed of this other celebration that the Lord and His Mother were preparing, a heavenly love feast at the Eucharistic banquet of the Lord and one of the most awesome miracles granted by Our Lord in the 20th centuries of the history of the Church: To witness the transformation of the consecrated host and wine into the very Body, nay the very Heart, and the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, through the intercession of His Mother. The rest of us received the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ, but in Julia's mouth the Eucharistic species of the wine in the chalice, changed to the species of flesh and blood. The rest of us savoured the taste of wafer and wine as we received Holy Communion. We knew with divine faith that these were the very Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. We were joined to the living and glorified Christ, renewing His mystical and real oblation, offering Himself as the Divine Victim and His Mystical Body to the Father.
As Julia received the eucharist, she experienced the commingling of blood and flesh, the flesh expanding and moving in her mouth and the strong odour of blood. Fr. Finn observed the white of the host disappearing and changing into the dark red of living flesh on Julia’s tongue. In Julia's mouth the species of unleavened bread changed to the species of flesh and the species of wine changed into the species of blood. In the twilight of 5.30 p.m. that momentous Friday, the rest of us observed the moving flesh on her tongue and filling the creases of her lips. ONLY LATER, as we examined the photos, did we begin to apprehend the full magnitude of the miracle. The host had changed into a living and vibrant Heart. For the first time, human eyes saw the living Heart of Our Lord and saviour, the Heart that had so loved the world that It offered Itself in the holocaust that we might live and not be lost. All those present at this memorable evening shared the same sentiments. We were one in mind and heart.
It was two months later, in November, that I finally received and
the text of the message of Jesus to Julia during her communion. This
the French translation of it by Fr. Spies. As I read this message from
our Lord during that time of communion, I became aware that the words
Jesus confirmed our conjecture:
"My Mother is now showing and revealing My heart to a bishop."
What we had viewed that September evening was the very heart of Jesus.
Bread of Life
This is my body, this is My Blood , said Christ as He distributed the first Eucharist to His apostles, fulfilling the promise He had given after the multiplication of fishes and loaves on the north shore of Lake Genesareth. Jesus is the bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, he who has faith in me will never thirst. (Jn. 6,15) Five times Jesus repeated and underlined and stressed that His flesh is real food, and His blood is real drink for eternal life, that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood, has life everlasting in him, and He will raise us up on the last day. The theology and the doctrine of the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches have been constant to the present day. Bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. This promise of Christ became a stumbling block for the Jews and scandal to the gentiles. It has remained so to liberal Catholics, theologians, laity and even priests and a scandal to the Protestants, even to the present day. Yet Jesus' words are clear and He never retracted them. As the Pharisees and Sadducees, and even His disciples left Jesus, only His twelve apostles remained with the Lord. Heavy-hearted, He turned to His apostles with the question, “Will you also leave Me?” And from those banks of the sea of Tiberias He scanned the ages even to this our present age, and watched as those who had come to know Him through His Church, turned away in disbelief and incredulity. His lament and His accusation of the neo-modernist intellectuals in the Church continues. Will you also leave Me?
JESUS POURED out His heart in His words to Julia: “many ecclesiastics want to make Me known through sophisticated arguments and complex reasonings, forgetting the eucharist, which is My very substance, and the sublime simplicity of My Gospels, which I proclaim. They are like those that sling mud at simple people.” (Message to Julia Kim, Sept. 22, 1995)
Eucharistic Miracles in the Catholic Church
Some who have observed the pictures and heard the story of the miracle have raised two specious theological arguments against them. The first invokes the authority of the Council of Trent which proclaimed the truth that the Eucharist contains the glorified and immutable body of Christ. Skeptics question: how, then, could the Eucharist bleed or change into living bleeding flesh, still less, change into a living heart? Secondly, they posture, what purpose can such a miracle serve? The history of the Church records more than one hundred and sixty approved Eucharistic miracles. I invoke two. The miracles of Lanciano and Bolsena in Italy:
At the beginning of the eighth century a Basilian monk of Lanciano(near Chieti in Italy)was tormented by the words of consecration during mass. Before his eyes the Sacred host visibly changed into flesh, except in the center where the sacramental species remained intact. The consecrated wine changed into a bright red blood, that coagulated into five small clots. This miraculous host and blood have been preserved to the present day. The popes of that period confirmed the authenticity of the miracle. And in our own days the Holy See commissioned a group of scientists to do laboratory research in 1970. The Osservatore Romano of April 3, 1971 reported their findings, which confirmed that the blood is real blood and the flesh is real flesh composed of cardiac muscle tissue. The flesh is heart tissue. Both the host and the blood belong to the same person. This miracle continues now for 1,200 years. Pope Leo X, Clement X, Leo XIII and others have confirmed the authenticity and the veneration or cult given to this Miraculous Eucharist.
THE SECOND MIRACLE is the story of an unknown monk, Peter of Prague. It was the time of the Eucharistic controversies of the XIII Century. The priest monk Peter was celebrating mass at the main altar in the church of Saint Christina in Bolsena sometime in 1263. The story goes that he was assailed by doubts in the truth of the Eucharist. He continued to celebrate. As he pronounced the words of consecration over the host and elevated the host, the unleavened bread turned into flesh and began to bleed profusely. News reached Rome quickly and the pontiff, Pope Urban IV, who was in Orvieto at the time, set out for Bolsena. At the request of the pope the local bishop went to bring him the miraculous host. The pope was so eager to observe and to venerate the miracle that he hastened to meet the returning processions. They met at the Bridge of the Sun at the entrance to Orvieto. The Pope fell to the his knees in adoration of the Eucharistic Lord, whose bleeding Eucharistic Body lay on the corporal. The corporal has been preserved in the Orvieto cathedral to this present day. The following year, August 1264, the Pope instituted the feast of Corpus Christi in honour of the Blessed Sacrament and he commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to write the office of the feast. St. Thomas' are the hymns : O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo. The Church has acknowledged similar miracles, such as the bleeding of the Eucharist in Venezuela (Betania) and elsewhere.
The Naju Miracles
There were nine significant Eucharistic miracles at Naju itself that preceded the miracle I am now presenting. These miracles began with the appearances of images of the Eucharist or the chalice in pictures taken of the weeping statue of Our Lady in Naju. Later, the host received in communion by Julia changed into bleeding flesh, as testified by the priests and faithful present at communion. The papal pro-nuncio to Korea, Archbishop Giovanni Buleitis, was present when an invisible hand (of St. Michael the Archangel, as Julia later explained) placed the large host in her mouth. Although the diocesan commission of Kwangjiu has not yet spoken on the twelve Eucharistic miracles that by now have taken place in association with Julia Kim, two bishops, Archbishop Giovanni Buleitis, the papal pro-nuncio to Korea and I, have authenticated our own experiences. Archbishop Buleitis has been following the events of Naju and has presented his findings to Pope John Paul II. And to the astonishment and dismay of skeptics, the Holy Father himself, several months ago, was also privy to the same miracle. The Eucharistic host became a living heart during the celebration of the Eucharist in his papal chapel in the Vatican, when Julia Kim received communion from his hands. Although the pope has not spoken of this himself, priest and lay eye witnesses documented the event and a recent publication in English includes the report on the miracle and the texts of the messages of the Blessed Virgin. Another difficulty I have encountered with the theologians over this has been, What purpose could such a phenomenon serve? We have to ask the Author of this phenomenon and miraculous event in the first place, not Julia or me. Who are we to dictate to the author of these Miracles, the Eucharistic Lord Himself, what He is to do with the mystery of the Eucharistic miracles?
OPINIONS: The Bottom Line : Credible or Not?
By Father Joseph Peter Finn (witness to the miracle)
In a matter of this importance we must look closely at the bottom line: the measure or degree of credibility, faith, belief, or trust that we place in the Eucharistic event. To avoid confusion of mind let us frame our concern in the form of a question. Is there a genuine difference in the process of evaluating the trustworthiness of these physical, tangible eucharistic miracles as compared to assessing the credibility or trust that may be placed in messages or locutions claimed to be channeled through a seer? In the matter of a Eucharistic event as above described, there is, first of all, no intermediary through whom messages are channeled to us. Suddenly and unexpectedly it happens within the context of the Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated by validly ordained Catholic celebrants-priests or bishop(s). By the Act of His Divine Will at the words of consecration pronounced by celebrant(s), Christ Jesus, son of the living God, becomes really and truly present under the species (outward appearances) of bread and wine. By a further act of His same Divine Will Jesus can set aside external species in such a manner that His sacred Flesh and Blood are readily and directly perceived by our human senses. He can effect this on the table of the altar or on the tongue of one who is a temple of the Holy Spirit. There seems to be no room for deceit or trickery here. And our adversary, Satan, dare not intrude himself into this scene.
Prompted by the beautiful gift of our faith by our loving Father at baptism, all present are called upon to make swift judgment. Immediately, intuitively as they gaze upon the Flesh and Blood of the Lord Jesus, they cry out in the depth of their hearts like Thomas in the Upper Room: My Lord and My God.
Furthermore, the faithful present feel tremendously privileged to share with the celebrants this unique moment. And the celebrants themselves, overcome with awe, humbly realize that their intent and words of consecration are the human channel through which this Eucharistic miracle takes place.
An extraordinary phenomenon of this importance merits further reflection. We ask ourselves: How can such a startling event take place? Is it staged through trickery, a sleight-of-hand act, some theatrical gimmick? Or does it occur through Divine Power? As we examine the alternative it is clear that Julia Kim is a devout, honest and balanced Catholic mother for whom any deceit in such a sacred matter would be unthinkable. And, how could she hold concealed a mouthful of ordinary blood to be released onto her tongue just after Holy Communion. Preposterous! The Lord Jesus Himself performed this miracle, as far as I am concerned. (Fr. Finn, from the London, diocese in Ontario, concelebrated the Mass of the Heart in Korea. He was the first to notice the miracle. From Catholic Insight magazine.)