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Mysterious Light That Shone from Priest's Home Chapel Where Blessed Sacrament Wa

Aug 31, 2016 By Gretchen Filz

Was this photo a Eucharistic Miracle? There is good reason to believe so, because that strangely large, bright light was shining from inside the private chapel of a priest's residence where the Blessed Sacrament was reposed.

This photo and the story behind it was originally written by Fr. Robert Lange, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, in 2007 and posted on his personal blog. Fr. Lange went to be with the Lord in May of 2015. His website is now offline so we are unable to link to the original source of the article, although it has been republished on multiple Catholic websites in the years since he wrote it.

Fr. Lange's original article is reposted below.

Mysterious bright light that shone from priest's home chapel where Blessed Sacrament was reposed. Read the story here. Mysterious light that shone from priest's home chapel where Blessed Sacrament was reposed

Respect for Christ in the Eucharist – One Priest’s Perspective

By Rev. Robert Lange

December 2007

The picture above is of my home in Fort Valley, Virginia, and the light is coming from my chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. There is not light in the window and there is no sun out on the day of the picture. (More about the picture is at end of the article.)

Americans have the option of receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand. The Vatican granted us the option of receiving on the hand in 1977. This was accomplished by an indult, a lifting of the law, so we may receive either way, on the tongue or in the hand. The indult was granted because the American bishops told the Vatican that their parishioners were clamoring for it. “We can feed ourselves” was one of the specious arguments put forward.

After Apostolic times, the Church gradually adopted Communion on the tongue as the universal practice. In the early fourth century the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, revived the practice of receiving Communion in the hand specifically to show a lesser respect for Christ, believing that He is not “equal to the Father.”

The universal Church law, which requires Holy Eucharist to be distributed to the faithful on their tongues, remains in force; it remains the law. However the indult has the effect of making the law inapplicable where in force.

Foreseeing the demand for the indult coming, the Sacred Office for Divine Worship sent a letter to the presidents of the bishops’ conferences to advise them how they may implement this option if granted. The letter spoke about reverence for the Holy Eucharist being the number one priority.

With this in mind, the letter went into great detail trying to explain this crucial concern. The letter contained the following specifics: Communion on the hand is an option; it is not the primary way of receiving. Catholics must be catechized to understand this important point. No one is to be forced to receive on the hand. When receiving the Body of Christ on the hand, the faithful must be aware of the fact that each and every particle, no matter how small, is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Therefore no particle should ever be discarded or treated with less than total respect due to the Body of Christ.

The faithful must also be reminded that their hands must be clean to receive our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When ordained in 1986, I was a proponent of receiving Communion in the hand, but time has changed my thinking on this issue. Seeing so many abuses and forming a deeper respect for Jesus’ true Presence in the Holy Eucharist were the factors which forced me to rethink my position.

On March 28, 1965, when the Catholic college I was attending opened their newly renovated chapel, we students were told how to receive the Holy Eucharist: standing and in the hand. There was no option given. May I add that this was fully 12 years before any American diocese received the indult, which allowed for that option.

Why did those priests, abbots and bishops disobey the authority of Rome? Communion in the hand became the norm for American Catholics in the 1960s. In many cases the practice was not presented to us as optional, but as the way to receive.

In my 24 years as a priest, I have served in many parishes and witnessed many Eucharistic abuses caused by receiving in the hand. I have picked Jesus off the floor from under pews and picked Him out of hymnals. I have followed people back to their seats and asked if they would give me the Host back (they bring it out of a clinched hand or out of their pockets) and have witnessed many other sacrilegious desecrations of the most Blessed Sacrament, far too many and varied to mention, some so shocking most people would simply not believe my words.

As I began to see these desecrations of the Holy Eucharist, I began to understand how very sickening, disheartening and avoidable all of this actually has been. Many religious education programs teach the children how to receive on the hand, with at most a cursory mention of the traditional way of receiving on the tongue. Why? The Church documents do not support such teaching. It was the same with many American dioceses in the 1960s when the faithful were being coerced into receiving on the hand a decade before being granted the indult.

Father Benedict Groeschel, a familiar face to EWTN viewers and an accomplished author, announced on his “Sunday Night Live With Fr. Groeschel” program that he considered Communion in the hand to be an abomination. That is strong language!

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was asked what was the worst thing that has happened to the Church in her lifetime. She replied without hesitation, “Communion in the hand.” Again powerful language!

Why would these two great figures of our time be so fervent in their opinions regarding this issue if it did not affect their whole being? Somehow I think they would agree that Communion in the hand is a true American tragedy.

Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, leads by example. Since becoming Pope, anyone receiving the Holy Eucharist from him must receive on the tongue and kneeling. He is not requiring a change throughout the world, but is giving us a profound message by example.

Proper respect shown to the Holy Eucharist is primary. Please consider these thoughts before receiving Holy Communion this Sunday. Thank you.

Further note on picture: In May of this year Bishop Loverde gave me permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in my chapel – The chapel is on the second floor of my home. The Eucharist had been reserved in the chapel less than a week when this picture was taken from the front porch of a neighbor’s home.

The person taking the picture was enamored by the beauty of the valley and decided to take a picture for her collection. When she aimed the camera towards the valley and tried to focus for the picture, she says the light coming from my house was so bright she said it was difficult trying to look into camera to view the picture to be taken (It was a cloudy day and I did not have a light on in the room/chapel where the light is coming from.) She took the picture and the image – the Star of David – is what came out on her digital camera. She did not know what to make of it. Not being Catholic, she had no understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion).

My opinion is that our Lord wanted to give us a beautiful reminder of His true presence in the Holy Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! It is a reminder that He is with us always, that we are never alone, that He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. It is a vivid reminder that He truly suffered and died on the cross and that He is present in this world – until His Second Coming – in this most special manner – the Eucharist.

Just as the Star appeared over the stable in Bethlehem when the Christ Child was born, so the Star of David has appeared through the window of my Chapel on St. David’s Church Road, Fort Valley, Virginia, to remind us of His care, love, protection, and presence in our lives today and always.

By Rev. Robert Lange

(June 13, 1944 - May 4, 2015)

Read next Eucharistic Miracle in Poland Tested & Confirmed by Bishop

Read a priest's account of this bright light coming from his home chapel.

Comments

Anthony Durso
Anthony Durso says
Dec 23 2017 11:39AM
I was privileged to know Fr Lange, and I was in the neighborhood when the picture was taken. There was no direct sunlight that cloudy day. I live within 200 yds of the house in the photo. I spoke with the woman who took the photo, and could easily see how mystified she was at the result on her camera. I don't have any idea where she is now, but I remember she was curious about the Catholic faith. Perhaps a gift of encouragement from God to her; I have no idea.
I am so glad that I attend the Latin Mass in Littleton, Co. The new church, Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, is about three years old. An altar rail was built into the church. We kneel and receive our Lord on our tongues. I used to attend other churches, after VaticanII and changed parishes, until I found this church about 13 or 14 years ago. I am very happy at OLMC.
Johannes Dittrich
Johannes Dittrich says
Jun 21 2017 5:27AM
The real receiving of the body of Christ in hand is as follows according to St. Cyril from Jerusalem:

We reach out both hands and lay our right hand above our left hand so forming a throne. Then we bow down and receive the Lord using our tongue, the host then adheres to the tongue.
Richard Rodrigues
Richard Rodrigues says
Jan 23 2017 12:18AM
It was beautiful to see this picture and to read the account of this miraculous event.I had told close relatives and friends about this.

Like many people and the late Fr.Lange we have heard and sometimes actually witnessed the Blessed Sacrament treated in a

shameful or irreverent manner.
Tom Drinkwater
Tom Drinkwater says
Nov 14 2016 12:31AM
Just for the record...Fr. Lange was the first owner of the house. We are the second and current owners. The altar where the Blessed Sacrament was was located where the dormer is on the right of the light. Where the light is located is a skylight. That however, still does not explain the light!!!
Patricia Mobilik
Patricia Mobilik says
Sep 10 2016 1:54PM
God is with us until the end of time! I have started to received Holy Communion by the tongue again after reading the book "Get us out of here!" and have tried and still trying to encouraged my friends and relatives to receive Holy Communion by tongue, but I have always been challenged by this feedback "why is the Pope silent on it?". Of course I cannot answer that question. I have search for articles where the Pope would have said something about receiving the Holy Communion by the hand is not right and that it offend and be littled Jesus!. I am happy to read Fr. Lange's article. Now I can distribute the answer to them. Thank you Father for the love of Jesus!
Regina
Regina says
Sep 7 2016 1:08AM
I'm a convert to the Catholic faith. I used to receive our Lord by the hand till I realized all the abuse of the precious body of Christ. I now receive it on the tongue and pray for all those that abuse Christ body.

I used to kneel right before receiving Christ body, but our priest in Florida asked people to not kneel before receiving common or while receiving communion as it took too long to distribute communion. No the congregation was not that large either.

Where our grandchildren go to school and the church where they have school masses have communion rails. Many of the children kneel at the rail to receive communion. They seem to show more respect when receiving it this way.
Humfrey
Humfrey says
Sep 6 2016 11:15PM
Susan Rupp says: "I wanted to post this picture but am afraid of what my non-Catholic friends might think about the seeming extravagance of the home of the priest. The article sounds like he owned the house ? Can you clarify ?" Compared to Joel Osteen's mansion, well you know what i mean...
P Edward Murray
P Edward Murray says
Sep 6 2016 10:53PM
What time was the photo taken? I'm wondering if it might have been a glint of Sunlight?
Bernard
Bernard says
Sep 6 2016 10:39AM
Some of you all said that disciples received the bread by hand which is true. Disciples are the chosen ones by God who were given the Divine Authority to break bread and spread the good news to all nations. They were taught, groomed and molded by Jesus to continue His mission and their ministry started when they were blessed by the Holy Spirit in the upper room. So, it's The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit that gave them the authority to continue the mission of Christ. In today's context it's an ordained priest who takes the place of the disciple who has the divine authority to break bread or touch the Lord to distribute among others. As lay people we don't have that formation to authority to touch the body of the Lord. St. Francis of Assisi explains this well, the biggest respect he has towards priest is that only they have the authority to touch the Lord.
Emma
Emma says
Sep 5 2016 10:38AM
Thank you for sharing this photo and Father's piece.

http://www.motherteresa.org/08_info/receivingc.html
pete
pete says
Sep 4 2016 7:25AM
I would prefer receiving communion on the tongue however the person offering the host is often times shorter than me and it is simply easier to receive the host by hand; additionally it eliminates any chance of the host being dropped. On a similar note, I don't understand why the church doesn't offer the "blood" of Christ in individual small plastic cups similar to the way most Lutheran churches do. I have never drank from the same cup as a hundred people before me simply for sanitary reasons. I would gladly receive the "blood" of Christ if it could be offered in a more sanitary fashion.
Mary
Mary says
Sep 3 2016 8:31AM
I started receiving Communion on the tongue this year and immediately knew it was the right way to receive it. It feels much more reverent to me. I encourage others to at least try it a few times.
Kim Trudell
Kim Trudell says
Sep 3 2016 7:44AM
Wonderful article! How lovely to see this miracle of His light! I have returned to the practice of receiving on the tongue, but only from the priest or deacon. I receive in the hand, when distributed by a lay Eucharistic minister. I will gladly kneel at a communion rail, when they are restored, but not the floor. My knees won't allow me to get down on that hard floor. Whether we kneel or stand to receive Our Lord, I wish everyone would do the same thing. It's bothersome to me, when someone drops down to their knees in line in front of me. I worry I might trip over them. People used to understand the uniform rubrics, etc.., during Mass. Now, it seems very awkward that we're not all together. I'm sure many will disagree with me on this, but I know others, who feel likewise. It tends to be very distracting. Kim Rhodes, I'm praying for you, that you will become a Catholic! God bless you in your walk!
Jess
Jess says
Sep 2 2016 10:50PM
In one church I go to, I noticed that when the eucharistic ministers come forward before distributing communion, they pass around a small bottle of hand sanitizers. That gave me an idea. I now carry a small bottle of hand sanitizers in my backpack and I use it as soon as I arrive in church to get rid of the dirt picked up from subway or bus rails, and everything else I touch. My hands are now clean and ready to receive my Lord, and I refuse to shake any hand during the peace greeting to keep them clean.

Sometime ago, I used to receive holy communion on the tongue, until I received it from an elderly priest. His hand was shaking and it touched the side of my mouth, and I wondered how many other mouths his hand touched before mine, spreading our germs all around. So I have been receiving on the hand since then. We can receive our Lord with much reverence either way.
Thomas Adams
Thomas Adams says
Sep 2 2016 4:45PM
The quote by Blessed Teresa of Calcuttanis false. She never said this. The rest of the article is very good.
Hi Thomas, it is not accurate to say that the statement is false and that she never said it; it is more correct to say that it is not known to be an accurate statement as the source cannot be found. However, it is worthy of note that Mother Teresa instructed her Missionaries of Charity sisters to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.
?????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? -: ??? ???? ???? ??Grace
?????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? -: ??? ???? ???? ??Grace says
Sep 2 2016 2:57PM
We were given communion on the tongue when we were small . The scene changed a few yrs back with an option . Esp for hygiene purpose .. We cud receive it either in hand or tongue . I receive my Lord and Saviour reverently in my left hand n put it into mouth with my right hand

Go back to my place , pray n say the prayer after communion ... Soul of Christ .... ?
Corazon L. Bautista
Corazon L. Bautista says
Sep 2 2016 1:28PM
Thank you for publishing this! Years back, I remember there was a time my husband, my son and I stopped receiving the Holy Communion because the priests wanted the people to receive it by hand. I never wanted to touch the Holy Eucharist because I know that my hand should be free from dirt. I have already touched the pews or my bag or, if it was raining, my umbrella. Therefore I am not sure if my hands were still clean during the Holy Communion part of the mass. In fact, I didn't like to receive the Holy Eucharist if it's only the lay ministers who give it because I don't see them wash their hands just like what the priest did. I thought I won't be able to receive the Holy Eucharist anymore. If I remember it right it was required in some churches because of the virus which may be acquired through hands and because of some other sanitation reasons. I remember there was even a time when the priest would almost not allow me to receive it because I didn't like to receive it by hand. It seemed like He was telling me you are so hard headed because I let him feel that I would choose not to receive it if I will be forced to receive it by hand. We learned to attend masses in different churches trying to find a church where receiving the Holy Eucharist by tongue was still allowed. At last, we found one ... the Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel in Greenbelt, Makati. I was very thankful and for sometime we used to attend mass in that church until the time when we learned that other churches already allowed the parishioners to receive it by hand or by tongue. I am already 55 years old and I am proud to say that I still have not touched the blessed Eucharist when receiving Holy Communion. I consider it SACRED and it should only be the priest who should take hold of it. There was even a time when I was asking myself whether the priests were losing their faith in God already because they were afraid that people may get the virus through receiving the Holy Communion by hand. I have never heard of people who acquired a virus from a priest. At least, that's how I look at the priest, so clean that they are the only ones who should be holding it. I still prefer to receive it by tongue and not by hand. But I already started receiving it through the lay ministers because now I can see them wash their hands before the Holy Communion part of the mass.
nellie smith
nellie smith says
Sep 2 2016 2:06AM
thanks for sharing this!
Carla Guthrie
Carla Guthrie says
Sep 1 2016 10:04AM
Thank you so much for posting this beautiful miracle. What a wonderful way to share our faith. My husband and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary as Catholics yesterday; we receive on the tongue. I will share this on my fb page. Blessings...
Kim Rhodes
Kim Rhodes says
Sep 1 2016 9:53AM
This article helped me, a non Catholic, to possibly make that step to becoming Catholic. I never understood why the church didn't give communion to non Catholics. Now I do. Thank you Father Lang. R.I.P.
Marlon
Marlon says
Sep 1 2016 6:38AM
Most priest in the diocese of Arlington are diocesan priest, they don't have a poverty vow, they have a small salary and they can keep an inheritance if they want to.
Fr. Lange said that there was no light on in the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Does he not have a sanctuary lamp lit?
Lisa
Lisa says
Aug 31 2016 9:46PM
What a miracle that Our Lord was yet again, found by the shining of a bright star. He is all around us in everything we do, and in that moment when she was taking that picture, He wanted us to know that He is here with us, a beautiful reminder.

As for receiving Our Lord in the Sacraments, I was taught to receive in the hand, I'm now 47 years old, but now that I'm older and have a deeper understanding of our faith, I am not worthy to receive Our Lord in my hands. We do have a communion rail at our church, so I do kneel to receive, but if I'm visiting a church that doesn't have the rail, I still kneel to receive both Body and Blood of Our Savior. To some this may sound drastic or even too overboard, but Our Lord suffered for us. Died on a cross for us. Was abandoned by most of His closest friends for us. The least I can do is show Him the utmost respect in receiving Him in the Sacraments. I love Our Lord so much and I'm so grateful for all that we have in our faith.
Linda
Linda says
Aug 31 2016 9:40PM
When I was a child making my First Holy Communion in Chicago, I was taught that under no circumstances were we to touch the Host. Only a priest could touch it as his hands were blessed to do so. We received on the tongue and kneeling. I still receive on the tongue and if possible, kneeling. I have witnessed total disrespect for the sacrament by people approaching with arms crossed, hands in pockects, people pretending to put the Host in their mouths and most shocking, walking up with their dog in their arms. No, not a therapy dog! I think we need to be reminded exactly what the Host IS and not what we think it REPRESENTS.

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Commentary by

Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion through content writing and journalism. She works as a digital content writer, creator, and marketer for The Catholic Company. In addition to blogging at GetFed.com, she is also editor of the MorningOffering.com daily devotional email and author at GoodCatholic.com. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics and converted to the Catholic Church in 2011. She is also active in R.C.I.A., pro-life work, and various faith-based web projects.

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