1992 and 1994 Eucharistic Miracles of Buenos Aires
The first interesting fact I discovered was that this church has had not one, not two, but three claimed eucharistic miracles!
My only source of information on the first two is the video and PDF on the church website. Tesoriero does not mention either incident anywhere I can find, which is interesting because according to the Church account, the team he was with took a piece of the 1992 specimen for testing along with the 1996 one. This is supported by the fact that the Forensic Analytics report gives the 1996 sample FSD Lab Number 1-2, and Agency Item Number A2, which implies the existence of a sample 1-1/A1. The 1996 sample is also labelled “muestra humeda”, Spanish for “wet sample”, in the images from when the sample was taken, presumably to distinguish it from the 1992 specimen, which had dried out.
The first incident began during a Mass on May 1, 1992 and involved two wafers, found abandoned on the corporal of the tabernacle. I’m not sure why they were not just consumed, as there is no mention of them being dirty, and consuming unused wafers is generally the preferred option.
There is a picture in the video of two pieces of dry wafers.
I’m not clear if those are the actual wafers or a re-creation. If they are the actual specimens, it seems strange that there would be a picture. There were no camera phones in 1992, and a picture would most likely have been taken using a film camera. Why would anybody waste film on completely ordinary wafers? Furthermore, I’m a bit confused about policies here. If the Bishop had to authorize photographs after the transformation in 1996, did the Bishop also have to authorize this photograph?
Anyway, a week later, on May 8th, the specimen was observed to be red and was photographed. This is, by far, the most visually impressive of the reported miracles at this church. There is abundant blood-red tissue, with no other obvious microbial growth.
Images of the 1992 sample from the Church’s video. The last one is after the sample dried.
Then, on May 10th, “blood drops” were found on the ciborium (container that holds the consecrated wafers) and patens (plate that holds the wafers while being consecrated).
The church reports that these incidents were kept secret from the congregation until two years later, when on July 24, 1994, a priest reported seeing a drop of blood running on the inside of the ciborium. Many members of the congregation saw this incident, so it then became public.
The church video reports that samples were given to an unnamed doctor in the community, who examined the sample under a microscope and confirmed the presence of blood. He also tested it with a test strip which confirmed it was blood. I have no information on what exactly he claimed to have seen, or what kind of test strip was used.
Later, the church reports that a sample was taken with the 1996 sample for testing. Tesoriero doesn’t write or speak about this miracle, and the test reports are not given in his book. No information is given in the church’s English PDF either, so my only source for the results is the Spanish video, which at 39:00 translates approximately to:
“The reports concluded that blood elements were found, part of the human DNA and a substance that releases the skin from a wound. The studies were double-blind, with which those who received the samples in the laboratories were unaware of their nature as well that whoever was investigating them within the laboratory. The laboratory asked for a larger sample and the community decided that what was sent was enough and this is key because the studies were more data contributed to the facts, but what moves us is faith.”
I can’t get much information out of that. “Blood elements” is vague, and I have no idea what she means by “a substance that releases skin from a wound”. It could be a bad translation or she could just be vague and imprecise because she’s not an expert. Regardless, I don’t know what tests were done on this sample or what the results were.
Is this relevant to the 1996 specimen?
First of all, I think this context is significant because it explains why people were interested in the 1996 sample, which is far less visually impressive. I can understand people being excited about the images above, they really do look like blood clots. The 1996 sample, with its white, blue and black fuzz, just looks like rotting food. But having previously seen this more spectacular image, I can understand a bit more why people would be impressed by any red wafer.
Second, I am very curious what that lab report said. If it was as simple as their being no results because the sample was small and dried, I can’t imagine Tesoriero not taking the opportunity to include those images in his book, with a note saying the tests were inconclusive. However, reading Tesoriero’s work, you would get the impression that every miracle he’s ever investigated has turned out to be authentic. Any frauds or mistakes simply disappear from his reporting. This makes me suspect that the lab found information contrary to Tesoriero’s preferred narrative, and that’s why it was left out.
This raises some obvious concerns. If they found evidence of fraud, many of the same people were involved in the 1996 incident. If they found evidence it was a natural phenomenon, did they thoroughly rule out that possibility for the 1996 sample? Does this Church has unusual conditions which make the growth of red-coloured microbes unusually common?
Another interesting thing to note about Tesoriero’s reporting is the hyperbole, which makes little sense when you understand the context. His works are filled with statements like the red substance growing “to the astonishment of Pezet”, which make little sense if you realize that Pezet had seen exactly the same thing, but more impressive, only a few years before.