Bleeding Bread of Bolsena

Bleeding Bread of Bolsena   :  is a medieval mystery which science has recently revisited.  According to legend, during a 13th century mass at Bolsena in Italy, some bright red blood is said to have manifested on the sacramental wafer.  This event later went on to inspire Pope Urban IV to inaugurate the Annual Feast of Corpus Christi.  However this 'miracle' has recently been recreated in a petri dish in 1994.  Dr. Johanna Cullen from George Mason University in Virginia, found that by incubating the Serratia marcescens bacteria, a similar effect produced by the Bolsena bread could be achieved.  The bacteria thrive on starch and within three days of her experiment several blood red spots appeared on a wafer.  It could be that a simple case of contamination may be one explanation for this miracle.

Source:  Information for this article,  Dr. Karl P. N. Schuker, The Unexplained, Carlton Books Limited (1997) ISBN: 1-85868-384

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