Image: The relic at display
Image: Relic close-up
Image 2: Relic close up
The flesh and blood of Christ is still being preserved in the church of San Francesco in Piazza Plebiscito at Lanciano, Italy. It all started in 750 AD, when a Basilian monk while celebrating the holy mass at St. Legontian Church at Lanciano. The monk started to have doubts on the real presence of Jesus Christ in the consecrated holy species. As soon as he pronounced the words of “consecration” (this is my body, this is my blood), the monk witnessed the host changed into a living piece of flesh and the wine turn into real blood.
Image: Church of San Francesco in Piazza Plebiscito
Analysis of the specimen – by Dr. Edoardo Linoli
A brief biography of Dr. Edoardo Linoli
Dr. Edoardo Linoli is a professor of anatomy and pathological histology, chemical & clinical microscopy, and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo. He was the only doctor who analyzed the relics from the miracle of Lanciano.
Authorization from church officials to have the relics examined scientifically
In November 1970, the archbishop of Pacifico Perantoni of Lanciano, the provincial minister of the Franciscan Conventuals of Abruzzo with the authorization of Rome mooted an initiative to have the relics examined scientifically.
Linoli and his assistant analyzed and concluded their findings.
Linoli was assisted by Dr. Rugerro Bertelli, also a retired professor of human anatomy at the University of Sienna. The analysis work covered on the relic, the miraculous flesh and blood were extracted with great care by Linoli and made the analysis. He presented his findings on March 4, 1971.
The following are his findings:
The flesh is real flesh, the blood is real blood. The flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart (myocardium). The flesh belongs to the human species. The flesh and blood have the same blood type which is AB. In the blood, there were traces of proteins in the same normal proportions as found in the sero-proteic make up of flesh and normal blood. There were also traces of minerals found in this blood such as Chlorides, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and Calcium.
The relic sample matches with the man from the Holy Shroud of Turin
In the interview with Zenit, Linoli further explained,”as regards to the flesh, I had in my hand the endocardium. Therefore, there is no doubt at all that it is cardiac tissue.” In regards to the blood, “the blood group is the same as that of the man of the Holy Shroud of Turin, and it is particular because it has the characteristics of a man who was born and lived in the Middle East regions. The AB blood group of the inhabitants of the area in fact has a percentage that extends from 0.5-1.0% while in Palestine and the region of the Middle East; it is 14-15%”
He says, “Though it is alien to my task, strictly speaking, I feel that I should insert the following reflection into the study just completed: the classification which comes through in these studies, of the nature of flesh gives little support to the hypothesis of a “fraud” perpetrated centuries ago. As a matter of fact, supposing that heart may have been taken from a cadaver, I maintain that only a hand experienced in anatomic dissection would have been able to obtain from a hollow internal organ such a uniform cut as can still be glimpsed in the flesh.
Another characteristic property of the blood sample was that when liquefied, it has retained the chemical properties of freshly shed blood. Usually, when we cut ourselves and stain our clothes with blood, the chemical properties of our blood is gone within 20 to 30 minutes. If blood is not refrigerated within an hour, the composition will rapidly break down. If blood was taken from a dead body, it will lose its qualities quickly through decay. The blood sample analyzed by Dr. Linoli is believed to be over 12 000 yrs old. It still contains all its properties, chemicals and proteins of freshly shed blood. It was further testified that were no preservatives found in the blood.
World Health Organisation appoints commission to verify Linoli’s claims
In 1971, his report was published in "Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori". Following this, in 1973, World Health Organisation appointed a scientific commission to verify Linoli’s report. The task consisted of 500 types of examination which took 1 year 3 months to complete. The conclusion of these tests does not vary with Linoli’s findings. As a result, in 1976, the extract of scientific research of WHO’s medical commission was published in New York and Geneva that confirmed that science was unable to explain this phenomenon.