In 1317, a priest in Viversel, Belgium, was asked to take the Blessed Sacrament to a man in the village who was ill. The priest entered the house with the Consecrated Host in a Ciborium. He put the Ciborium on a blessed table, and then went over to speak to some members of the patient's family.
Meanwhile, a relative who was in the state of mortal sin, saw the Ciborium and moved by curiosity, removed the cover and held the consecrated Host. The Host began to bleed.
Startled, he threw the Host back into the holy vessel and hurried away.
When the priest went to give Holy Communion to the sick man, he found the Ciborium uncovered and the Host stained with blood.
Uncertain on how to proceed, the priest looked for his bishop and told him of the event. The bishop realized that it was a supernatural manifestation of the Eucharist and for that reason, told him to take the Host to the Church of the Cistercian nuns in Herkenrode.
The Cistercian convent of Herkenrode is near Liege, Belgium, and was founded in the 12th century. Because of the venerable reputation of the religious community, the bishop chose that location. He convinced it was the most suitable place to keep the miraculous Host.
The priest went to the Convent and as soon he arrived, described what had happened to the nuns. Then, together they entered the church and approached the altar.
When the priest opened the tabernacle, he had a vision of Christ crowned with thorns. The vision was also seen by the people. Our Lord seemed to give a special sign that He wished the Host to remain there.
Because of this vision and the presence of the Miraculous Host, Herkenrode became one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Belgium.
The Sacred Host of Herkenrode remained in the Church until 1796, when the when the nuns were expelled from the convent by the French Revolution.
In that terrible crisis, the Host was entrusted to the care of different families, and was finally hidden in a metal box embedded in the kitchen wall. In 1804, the Host was removed from its hiding place and carried in solemn procession to the Cathedral of St. Quentin in Hasselt.
This church has beautiful Gothic architecture and was built in the fourteenth century. Its walls are decorated with impressive sixteenth and seventeenth century paintings, which illustrate the events in the story of the miracle.
But far more important than the building and the beauty of the Cathedral of Hasselt is the Reliquary with the Sacred Host of the remarkable Eucharistic miracle that occurred in 1317, which is perfectly preserved without any chemical ingredient. The Reliquary was placed on a special altar to receive the veneration of the faithful.