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CHEKIYA VILLAGE, India (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic priest in rural India has attested to an extraordinary Palm Sunday miracle in his church last month.

On March 27, Father Johnson Vadakkapurathan, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Chekiya Village, Chümoukedima District, near Dimapur in Nagaland, India, told Matters India, a Christian news website, that he had discovered a Eucharistic miracle in the church’s tabernacle on Sunday, March 24.

Some days before, the priest had broken up and placed a sanctified Host in a glass tumbler for pious dissolution and placed the vessel in the tabernacle. The Host had been obtained under false pretenses by a non-Catholic who later repented and returned the sacred species. According to his testimony to Matters India, on Palm Sunday Vadakkapurathan found the Host intact at the bottom of the vessel with a substance floating over it. When the priest touched the substance, blood appeared. Vadakkapurathan then displayed the Host for public viewing until the local bishop, Bishop James Thoppil of the Diocese of Kohina,“took it into custody for further examination.”

According to the story, the Host had been taken by a Baptist woman accompanying her Catholic friend to Mass. Instead of consuming the sacred species, the woman took it home, felt guilty and brought the Host to her Catholic friend. The friend returned the Host to the church for reverent disposal.

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Amit Leonard, a LifeSite League member based in Mumbai, contacted Fr. Vadakkapurathan for comment. Vadakkapurathan told Leonard that Bishop Thoppil had asked him not to talk to any news media “unless a thorough investigation is done” and “an official statement [is] published by the Bishop’s House.” The priest added that the miraculous Host had been moved to the bishop’s house. He also said the two women involved in the story would not be comfortable speaking to the press right now, thanks to the political situation in the state of Nagaland, where Christians are persecuted. Nagaland is north of the state of Manipur, the scene of anti-Christian violence in 2023.

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LifeSiteNews reached out to the Vicar General of the Diocese of Kohina for confirmation of the story but did not receive a response.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church is a relatively new edifice, having been blessed and dedicated in 2021. Video footage of the Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church concentrates on the laypeople reading but also captures the communion of the faithful. There is no mention of a miracle. According to his account to India Matters, Vadakkapurathan made his discovery when he opened the tabernacle to obtain a Host for a member of the community who was sick.

There are 1411 Catholics within the parish, according to a public tally kept by the Diocese of Kohina.

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