(OSV News) ─ A possible Eucharistic miracle in Connecticut is now under investigation by the Vatican.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair told a Hartford television news station May 2 that the Dicastery (formerly Congregation) for the Doctrine of the Faith will examine whether an apparent multiplication of Communion hosts during a March 5 liturgy at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, was supernatural. The church, along with Immaculate Conception Church and St. Casimir Church, both in Terryville, Connecticut, is part of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish.
St. Maximilian Kolbe pastor Father Joseph Crowley said in a YouTube livestream of his March 12 homily that an unnamed extraordinary minister of holy Communion at the previous week's liturgy had begun to run out of hosts -- only to find that "all of a sudden there (were) more hosts in the ciborium."
The minister continued to distribute the hosts to some "100, 150 people in the congregation," after which "there was the same amount, if not more hosts" in the ciborium, said Father Crowley in his March 12 homily. "What happened is Our Lord multiplied himself. … I have no doubt. I know what I gave the person. I know what (was) returned (to the tabernacle). It was just very obvious and plain to me as to what happened."
In a livestream video of his post-Communion remarks at the March 5 liturgy at St. Thomas Church, a visibly struck Father Crowley said the experience was "very powerful, very awesome, very real, very shocking."
A local saint in the making also may have played a role, Father Crowley said in his March 12 homily, since Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, served as pastor of St. Thomas Church from 1884 until his death in 1890.
"I think in a very profound way that … because of Blessed McGivney's life here … it shows that this is a very special place. And it's important to God," said Father Crowley in that reflection. "And I think good things are coming. I think great things are coming."
David Elliott, associate director of communications for the Archdiocese of Hartford, told OSV News at the time that the archdiocesan judicial vicar, Father George S. Mukuka, was "looking into the possibility of a Eucharistic miracle" at the parish.
Speaking to media May 2, Archbishop Blair said he had "(sent) out an experienced priest who has knowledge of church law, canon law, to follow procedure, (and) to just examine exactly what happened and under what circumstances."
He noted that "the guidelines for these kinds of situations do call for me to notify the (Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome."
The Vatican's investigation is expected to take approximately two weeks.
In the 21st century, only four Eucharistic miracles have been recognized throughout the world, according to the Magis Center, which, under the leadership of scholar and Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer, promotes dialogue between faith and science.
The last recognized miracle occurred in 2013 in Legnica, Poland, where a consecrated host, left to dissolve in water after it was accidentally dropped, formed red stains that under scientific analysis were found to contain fragmented parts of cross-striated muscle resembling that of heart muscle. The host was approved for veneration in April 2016 by then-Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica.
OSV News has contacted both the Archdiocese of Hartford and Father Crowley for comment.
Gina Christian is a national reporter for OSV News. Follow her on Twitter at @GinaJesseReina.