Excerpts from the speech of Dr. Ricardo Castañón, former atheist, at the Faith & Science Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yilda 2008. Translated from Spanish.
Now I’ll start a very interesting topic which I’ll surely deeply explain. I was called by the Cardinal of Buenos Aires … because … there is a trend of certain people [receiving] the Communion with their hand. So somebody dropped the [consecrated] Host and since the Host was dirty he didn’t want to pick it up. … The priest grabbed it and put it in a water fountain and let it sit in the water, so that it can dissolve. [The Host was then placed in a container of water and put in the Tabernacle.] After five or six days of being in the Tabernacle, they opened the Tabernacle and noticed that instead of being dissolved it had some red stains in different shapes. They noticed that the stains grew in the following days. That’s when they invited me to take a sample and find out what it was all about.
I traveled several times and got two samples. One [of the samples] is like gelatine. … [The other] has become like a dry scab. I went to some labs in the U.S. in California to take these samples. I don’t tell them that this comes from a Host. Blind tests consist of just giving the samples to the lab tech. … [The lab tech later reported to me:] “Doctor, the sample that you have brought us is muscle from the heart—muscle from the myocardium of the left ventricle.” That was the first result, but there are many things to discover.
We’ve been working on these studies since 1999. [But just recently found a] great expert in cardiology, pathology and biochemistry. He’s the only professor who has written a book of how to determine [the way in which] a person died when the heart has been wounded. So he’s a very famous professor, Dr. Frederick Zugibe. We gave him the samples and he said: “The person that had this heart must have been very wounded because his heart shows that he must have been very beat up. He was tortured!” He didn’t know it was a Host! Then what happened is that he said: “But there is something you need to explain. How is it possible that while I was studying this sample, the sample was moving, it was beating? So you explain to me: How did you take out the heart of a dead man and took it alive to me to my New York lab?” … Imagine telling a person that … a piece of wheat has turned into blood, coagulated and become heart tissue!
But it doesn’t end here since he asked us how was it possible that it is alive. I’ve been studying this sample since 1999—it’s been more than five years that I have the sample. So I went to the lab in Buenos Aires. And I looked for the documents of the first studies realized in Buenos Aires. And the lab tech that had done the first studies wrote: “Some liquids are observed like red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin. What calls my attention is that the cells are moving and beating. Some days had gone by already yet [under normal circumstances] after fifteen minutes the blood cells die!
So I got attracted to the heart topic and I found out that in Lanciano, a town located at the south of Italy, a priest that was celebrating Mass doubted if Jesus was present in the Eucharist. He doubted, and in the moment he was doubting the Host became flesh and blood. If you travel to Lanciano you can see it. … The wine turned into five [blood] clots. There are five blood clots, blood that looks like cotton. But the five of them have different sizes and weigh the same! The bishops’ conference of Italy invited in the ‘70’s—this happened in the eighth century, but they kept it [preserved in a reliquary]—they invited this professor Dr. Linolli, who is an expert in biochemistry and pathology to study it, and this doctor told us it “is muscle from the heart, just like the sample you have.” Hence, the sample I have from the ‘90’s from Buenos Aires is the same as this one—belongs to the same person!
What do you think? … So here we’re talking about what I believe is an extraordinary proof. Can I prove that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist? The Lord says something mystical: “I make miracles for the blind and deaf, but I would love not to make any miracles and you would believe because of faith.” I’m no one to say these are proofs, but I just want to put on the table the results of my research so you can meditate and come up with your own conclusions.