According to the Bible, the night of the last dinner Jesus Christ invited his twelve disciples to try bread and wine claiming that they represented his blood and his body.
Since then, the process began to be repeated in the masses following the doctrine of the transubstantiation, which ensures that, indeed, the host dipped in wine contains the essence of the body and blood of the son of God.
Well, there for him 13th centuryThere lived a priest who did not fully believe the transubstantiation story until one day, during one of his masses in a small town in Italy, the host began to bleed miraculously, awakening the faith of that priest and all his parishioners. This event, known as the miracle of Bolsena, gave rise to the Corpus Christi festival and, furthermore, aroused the interest of some scientists, who in the 1990s published an article in which they talked about the possible involvement of a bacterium in this curious miracle.
Serratia marcescens, the miracle bacteria
Serratia marcescens is a gram negative bacteria shaped like bacillus. Despite the title of miraculous, it is a pathogenic microbe which can cause a wide variety of infections although the most frequent are urinary and respiratory.
Adapts to temperatures between 35 and 40C and can live in a pH range from among 5 and 9. Furthermore, it preferably occurs in wet areas, reason why it is very frequent to find it in public baths and other similar places.
It is also very frequent in infectious outbreaks from hospitalsbecause it is a bacterium antibiotic resistant of the type of third generation penicillins and cephalosporinswhich often affects patients with low immunity, either for suffering from systemic diseases, or for receiving immunosuppressant-based treatments.
Why did Serratia marcescens bleed the host?
Logically, there are no remains of that host to study it, so the theories of these scientists from the George Mason University they are mere assumptions, although I know it is true that they make a lot of sense due to the ease with which this bacterium grows on bread.
Let’s not forget that the inside of the bread is a wet environment, making it very easy for these microbes to grow on it. So far so good, but where did the blood come from?
Well it turns out that Serratia marcescens produces a red pigmentcalled prodigiosine, which could begin to emanate from the host at just the right time for all the public present to associate it with a miracle.
It doesn’t seem crazy that it was so, right?
Bacteria picture: Microbe world