An ancient Eucharistic miracle occurred in the presence of a pope, and at an opportune time in Church history
he patriarch Jeremiah Al Amchiti was born in Amsheet, Lebanon, where he grew up and received education until God called him for his service in the religious life. In fact, he became a monk, and with the help of his brothers David and Joseph, he lived for a while as a hermit in Amsheet’s hermitages. Those hermitages included vast and high cellars and three churches: Our Lady of the Sea, Saint Zakhia, and Saint John. They are all known as Saint Zakhia’s churches, and are considered today among the most important ancient ruins in Amsheet.
In 1199, Jeremiah Al Amchiti was elected the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch. Afterwards, pope Innocent III invited him to participate in the ecumenical council he decided to hold in the Lateran in Rome in 1215. The patriarch traveled there and participated in the meeting. As he was celebrating Mass in the presence of the pope and the council members, a miracle happened. He raised the sacramental Bread after the consecration to be honored and worshiped by the crowd, in accordance with the liturgy. Then, he put his hands down, but the host stayed in the air without being supported or held.
The pope and the crowd admired what they saw, especially in light of the Fourth Lateran’s Council’s affirmation of the doctrine of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine of the Eucharist into the Body and Blood of Christ.
Bishop Ibn Al Qoulaii says about the miracle: “The viewers were amazed by the patriarch Jeremiah, and since then they considered him a saint.” Pope Innocent III asked that the miracle be depicted on the walls of the old St. Peter’s Basilica. The miracle is also mentioned in the reports of the Fourth Lateran Council..
Finally, the patriarch returned to Lebanon and stayed in the monastery of Saint Elige, where he passed away in 1230.