Tuesday, September 19, 2023

A Eucharistic Miracle in Ferrara, Italy

On Easter Sunday of the year 1171, a Eucharistic miracle occurred in a church in Ferrara, Italy, called Santa Maria Anteriore; at the moment of the fraction of the Host, blood gushed forth from it and landed on the apse above the altar. The church became a pilgrimage site, but by the later 15th century, was in a very dire condition, so a new church was built nearby called Santa Maria in Vado. (“Vado” is Ferrarese dialect for “guado - a ford”, and interestingly, closer to the Latin “vadum.”) The remains of the blood-spattered apse were later brought into the new church in 1501, and set up as part of a shrine in the right transept, which was then completely rebuilt in 1594. A friend of mine recently visited the church, and kindly agreed to share his pictures of it with us; to these, I have joined several others by Nicola de’ Grandi.

The right transept, with the shrine built in front of the remains of the blood-spattered apse of Santa Maria Anteriore.
This inscription added at the base of the remains of the apse reads, “Here is the precious blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which in the year 1171 on the day of Easter, March 28, leaping forth in the midst of the priest’s hands by a miracle, stuck to the upper part of this apse; wonder, adore, and give thanks to God.”
The altar of the lower part of the shrine.
The main altar. The painting in the apse by a local artist named Carlo Bononi (1616-21) celebrated the Glory of the Holy Name; the altarpiece of the Annunciation is by Camillo Filippi (no later than 1560).  
Detailed views of the three panels in the ceiling of the nave, also by Bononi, are given below. 
Looking back at the nave from the upper part of the shrine of the miracle.
The following photos are by Nicola.
The shrine of the Eucharistic Miracle.
The organ in the left transept.
The vault of the crossing, with a fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin.
Three panels in the ceiling of the nave: the Presentation of the Virgin
The Glorification of the Holy Trinity
The Visitation

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