February 20, 2013

Living on Bread Alone

Therese Neumann was a German woman, noted as a mystic and stigmatist. She lived from April 8, 1898 to September 18, 1962. Beginning in 1922, she reportedly consumed no solid food. Beginning in September, 1926, she reportedly consumed no beverages. For nourishment, she received only the Eucharist.

Reports of this led the Bishop of Regensburg to order an investigation. For 15 days, from July 14 -28, 1927, she was kept under watch, 24 hours a day, by four Franciscan nurses. They were supervised by Dr. Seidl from Waldsassen and Professor Ewald from Erlangen, who came in themselves to make random visits from time to time. The results of the observation were that, during the period in question, Ms. Neumann took no food or beverage.

Professor Ewald was an opponent of those who claimed there was some unscientific explanation for the phenomenon He admitted, however, that while she should have lost weight heavily, she weighed the same at the end of this time as at the outset.

After beginning her total fast from food and drink in 1926, Therese Neumann continued it until the time of her death, 36 years later.

Jesus said that He was the “bread of life,” and that “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” For us, during this Lenten season, may we come to have a deeper faith in this and in His Presence among us.


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