Lights in the Field
Alphonsus Liguori heard the story from a priest who was an eyewitness. On January 28, 1772, in the local parish church of a place called St. Pietro-a-Paterno, a grim and sorrowful discovery was made. The tabernacle was open and two ciboriums, containing many consecrated Hosts, were missing. An extensive search revealed nothing.
On February 18th, a youth named Giuseppe Crefici saw something strange. As he passed by property belonging to the Duke of Grotelle, he noticed a number of bright lights that seemed to resemble stars. Soon the neighbors began to notice these lights as well. Night after night they appeared. On February 23rd, a large flame was observed around a pile of straw. Giuseppe was there with his brother, Giovanni and two friends, Carlo Marrota and another boy named Piccino. As the approached the phenomenon, Piccino suddenly fell upon his face. Giuseppe then felt himself pushed on the shoulders and he also fell. The other two similarly went to the ground. All four got to their feet. As they did so, they saw a brilliant light coming from beneath a poplar tree. Out of this light a dove appeared and fluttered in the air, at a height of about five feet. The dove descended to the base of the tree and then vanished, as did the light.
Intrigued by this, several persons began digging at the base of the poplar tree. They found the Sacred Hosts buried in the ground there. There were fifty of them. They had lost none of their whiteness, although they had been buried for most of a month. The Hosts were carried back to church and returned to the tabernacle.
The next night, lights again appeared in the same field. A search was made for more Hosts, but without success. On the following evening, a number of tiny flames appeared around the pile of straw. Another search was made. This time, more of the Blessed Sacrament was unearthed.
Many people were witnesses to these events. They occurred not just on one night, but two. Lights that had not been observed before, were suddenly seen, and were seen in precisely the area where the Sacred Hosts were buried. Would this have occurred if mere bread had been left in a field?
(Adapted from an account in Moments Divine Before the Blessed Sacrament by Rev. Frederick A. Reuter, K.C.B.S.)