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The beautiful church in Sokolka of St. Anthony of Padua has gathered a huge crowd of people who wanted to celebrate the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, on Sunday, August 12th.  This parish in Sokolka is known for the Eucharistic miracle that took place there in 2008, when a purified host turned into a small piece of a heart muscle tissue and was confirmed by two independent pathologists and the ecclesiastical commission, waiting to be approved by the Vatican as an authentic miracle.

Our Lady of Czestochowa was greeted parish priest Stanisław Gniedziejko.  The Icon was solemnly brought into the church, setting it on a high podium.  Welcoming the assembled faithful, the archbishop warmly greeted especially the Orthodox brothers who also came to welcome the Icon of Our Lady.

The parish priest presided over the Liturgy of the Holy Mass and delivered the homily.  He noted that Our Blessed Mother always points the way to her Son.  She is the Sorrowful Mother who co-suffers with Christ – Our Savior and the Giver of Life.  Our commitment to the protection of life requires love and sacrifice, which God demands from all Christians.  At the end of the liturgy, all those present renewed the Act of Entrustment to Our Lady of Protection of Life and Civilization of Love.

Many people expressed regret that the visit of Our Lady of Sokolka was so short.  After the mass and a short prayer, it was time to say goodbye.  Placed in the "Life Mobile," the Icon of Our Blessed Mother pulled away in the direction of Suprasl in the company of blue motorcycle and several marked cars while many gathered bid Her a warm farewell with tears in many eyes.

More about the Eucharistic Miracle at Sokolka:

On the 12th of October 2008, a priest was distributing Holy Communion during Holy Mass.  The consecrated Host fell out of the ciborium.  The priest picked up the Host and placed it in the vasculum inside the tabernacle.  After the Mass, the contents were transferred to a vessel in the sacristy safe to be dissolved.  A week later, after opening the safe, a nun noticed a dark red stain on the submerged Host, which had not dissolved, giving the impression of blood.  On October 29th, 2008, the Host was transferred from the vessel in the safe to the tabernacle in the rectory chapel.  The next day, the preserved Host was removed from the water and placed on a corporal in the tabernacle.  On January 7th, 2009, a sample was taken from the Host which has been independently examined by two independent pathologists who were professors at the Medical University of Bialystok.  They had given a consistent judgment that: " the material that was sent for them to assess (...) in the evaluation of two independent pathologists (...) indicates the myocardial tissue, at least, of all the living tissues of the body most resembles it."  The Commission determined that the sample taken for examination belonged to the consecrated Host that has been moved from the sacristy to the tabernacle in the chapel of the rectory.  No bystander intervention or tampering was found.  The commission gave the church a file to be sent to the Apostolic Nunciature in Warsaw for further study and approval of the Holy See.  The event of Sokółka is not opposed to the faith and teaching of the Church, but rather confirms it.  The Church believes that through the words of consecration, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread is transformed into the living Body of Christ and the wine into His Precious Blood.  It also calls for the Ministers of the Eucharist to distribute the Body of Christ with faith and attention and for the faithful to receive [Holy Communion] with reverence - said Fr. Andrew Kakareko, chancellor of the curia.

In 2008, Archbishop Ozorowski reminded those present at the Mass and procession, that followed the events of the Eucharistic miracle, that throughout history, the "substance of Christ's Body and Blood has become available to the human senses, and this also happened in Sokolka." He added that, "Nothing is impossible for God."  Following the celebration of the Holy Mass, the small fragment from the 2008 consecrated Host was then taken in procession to Sokolka's church of St Anthony, where it was exposed for veneration for the faithful gathered.

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