December 17, 2016

Communion Across the Waves

Agatho was the Bishop of Palermo when he happened, at a certain time, to be sailing from Sicily to Rome. Lashed to the ship on which he was travelling was a small boat. On board was a single man who had the task of steering it. During the journey, a tremendous storm arose and the ships became separated. The small boat was feared to have capsized and the man drowned.

Agatho’s ship itself was in serious danger of foundering. At last, they made it to the island of Ostika, where the ship required some repairs before it could continue on to Rome. On the island, the Bishop offered a Mass for the poor man who he thought had died.

When he arrived in Rome, he found that very same man near the place he landed. The man related how he struggled against the waves, for days, to keep the boat afloat. When he was exhausted from the strain, and from the lack of food and water, he thought he could not continue any more. He thought his end was at hand.

Then, he said, he saw a man standing before him, who offered him bread. As soon as he had partaken of it, his strength returned in force. Shortly after that, he was picked up by a ship and taken to home.

As the man recounted some of the details, the Bishop was able to discern that the day the day on which he offered Mass for the man was the same day on which bread was offered to the man by his mysterious visitor on the sea.

Source: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 206-207.


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