Barb Sieminski
Freelance Writer
February 12, 2020 // Diocese

Couple visits holy places, sites of miracles

Barb Sieminski
Freelance Writer

Dave Domenico and his family have traveled to the far parts of the world looking into miracles that have happened, and in the process been blessed with each impression.

Domenico and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of David, 23; Josh, 18; Alex, 15; and Dominic, 11; all of whom are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Fort Wayne. The family enjoys traveling and educating themselves about the miracle locations and Catholic theology. 

They began their eucharistic miracle search while on vacation several years ago.
The reliquary of the Holy Face has the form of a monstrance made of solid silver with an addition of gemstones and gold in which there is a walnut wood frame with crystal panes.

“We were in Italy visiting family in the Abruzzo region, and my sons Alex and Dominic were with me,” remembered Dave. “We literally stumbled upon the first eucharistic miracle in Lanciano. We just so happened to walk into the church, and there it was … The church was absolutely beautiful, and on the altar was the beautiful display of the Miracle of Lanciano.”

Downstairs, there was a large display of the scientific findings, and the findings revealed the innermost layer in the human heart.

“It was truly life-changing, and for both Cindy and me, this was our ‘aha moment.’”

Dave has not been to the Holy Land, although he has been throughout the Middle East.

Cindy’s goal became one of eventually seeing all of the eucharistic miracles that had taken place in Italy, as well as the one that occurred in Tixia, Mexico, in 2006. To date, the couple has also seen the crypts of St. Therese of Lisieux, Padre Pio and a few others.

“The feeling I had visiting these hallowed places was reinforcement that Jesus is alive and well, even at times in our faith when we have doubts,” said Cindy. “These miracles have the scientific data to make us not be doubting Thomases.”

What miracle thus far made the greatest impression on the couple?

“We absolutely loved The Holy Face, il Volto Santo di Manoppello, which is not a eucharistic miracle, just a miracle in itself,” said Dave.

Cindy agreed. “Ironically, every site we visited was just by chance. One of my very favorites was the Veil of Manoppello in Italy — truly breathtaking.”

According to the couple, there were actual physical changes to the veil, in the transference of bodily properties and blood, even though the veil had been under a wax seal for more than 1,200 years. What surprised them was that in 1970-71, Pope Paul VI permitted scientists from France, Germany and Switzerland who were non-Catholic to do an independent study of the precious relic to verify its nature, with interesting results.

“They did DNA studies and compared that blood to the blood on the Shroud of Turin, and it was a perfect match,” said Dave.

In the book “Miracle of Lanciano,” Dr. Odoardo Linoli, professor of anatomy and pathological histology, chemistry and clinical microscopy, and head physician of the hospital of Arezzo, recounts the study he conducted on the eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, assisted by Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, professor emeritus of human anatomy at the University of Siena.

In 1981, using more advanced medical technology, Dr. Linoli conducted a second histological study; he not only confirmed the findings but also gathered new information.

“The major findings from this research include the following: The Flesh, yellow-brown in color, has the structure of the myocardium (heart wall) and the endocardium, the membrane of fibrous-elastic tissue lining all the cardiac cavities. These have the same appearance as in the human heart. No traces of preservatives were found in the elements.

“The blood was also of human origin with the type AB. Proteins in the clotted Blood were normally fractioned with the same percentage ratio as those found in the sero-proteic make-up of normal, fresh human blood. The blood contained these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.”

Professor Linoli asserted that the blood, if taken from a cadaver, would have deteriorated rapidly. Given that these samples were centuries old, free of preservatives, and never hermetically sealed in the reliquaries, they should have deteriorated. However, he underscored that the samples had the same properties as fresh human blood and flesh.

Moreover, the doctors both concluded that only the skill of a trained pathologist could have obtained such a sample, a tangential cut of the heart; a round cut, thick on the outer edges and lessening gradually and uniformly to the central area.

The Domenicos continue to spread excitement over the sites they have visited whenever they have the opportunity.

“We will hopefully be traveling to Italy this year to visit family,” said Dave. “When we are there, Cindy and I will bring our Vatican-approved eucharistic miracle book with us and wing it. Paradoxically, this is how we have stumbled upon a majority of the places we have visited.

“I guess you could say we let God guide us.”

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