The Face of Christ
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
The beautiful image of Jesus' face has sometimes appeared on the Sacred Host during Eucharistic miracles. Take, for example, the miracle of Eten, Peru, which began in the night of June 2, 1649. That evening, as Fr. Jèrome Silva was about to replace the monstrance in the tabernacle, he saw in the host the image of a child with thick brown curls that fell to his shoulders. He held the host up to show the image to those present. They all agreed that it was an image of the Christ Child.
A second apparition took place the following month. During the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Child Jesus appeared again in the Holy Host, dressed in a purple habit over a shirt that covered his chest (as was the custom of the local Indians, the Mochicas). The people believed that the Christ Child wanted to show his love for the Mochicas. During this apparition, which lasted about fifteen minutes, many people also saw in the Sacred Host three small white hearts, thought to symbolize the three Persons of the Holy Trinity. The celebration in honor of the Miraculous Child of Eten still attracts thousands of people to Peru each year.
One of the more recent verified miracles was of a similar nature. It began on April 28, 2001, in Trivandrum, India. Fr. Johnson Karoor was saying Mass when he saw three dots on the consecrated host. He stopped reciting the prayers and stared intently at the Sacred Host. He then invited those at Mass to see. They also saw the same dots. He asked the faithful to remain in prayer, and he placed the Holy Eucharist in the tabernacle.
At Mass on May 5, Fr. Karoor again noticed an image on the host, this time a human face. During adoration, the figure became more clear. Fr. Karoor later explained: “I didn’t have the strength to speak anything to the faithful. I stood aside for some time. I couldn’t control my tears. We had the practice of reading Scripture and reflecting on it during adoration. The passage that I got that day as I opened the Sacred Scriptures was John 20:24–29, Jesus appearing to St. Thomas and asking him to see his wounds.”