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Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle

Photo © Justine Lowndes. View all images in our Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle Photo Gallery.
Photo © Sagen.at.
Photo © Sagen.at.
Photo © Justine Lowndes.

The village of Seefeld in the Tirol region of western Austria is renowned as a fabulous ski resort, but it is the small parish church of Seefeld that brings the devout and miracle-seekers to the village year after year. It was here, in the 14th century, that an astonishing eucharistic miracle reportedly brought an arrogant knight to his knees.

History

On the night of Holy Thursday 1384, a knight named Oswald Milser attended Mass at the parish church in Seefeld. Guardian of a nearby castle, he was a man of great arrogance and pride.

During Mass, the knight approached the high altar with his sword drawn and a band of intimidating armed men, demanding the large host for himself - the small host normally given to the congregation was too ordinary for him.

The frightened priest handed him the host, and Milser remained standing as he took it. But as soon as he had the host in his mouth, the knight sank into the ground up to his knees. Pale with terror, he grasped the altar with both hands, leaving imprints that can still be seen.

The knight begged the priest to remove the host from his mouth. As soon as it was done, the ground became firm beneath him again. The humiliated knight rushed to the monastery of Stams, confessing and repenting his sin of arrogance. The velvet mantle he had worn that night was made into a chasuble and given to the Stams monastery.

In the remaining two years before his death, the knight continued to perform penance for his sacrilege. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried near the entrance of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

Shortly after the miracle, a knight (perhaps Milser himself) donated a silver monstrance in which to enshrine the miraculous host. The site soon drew so many pilgrims that a hostel had to be built to accommodate them.

The small church was soon bursting at the seams as well, and in 1423 Duke Freidrich commissioned a larger church. In 1516, Emperor Maximilian I erected an adjoining abbey, which housed Augustinian monks until 1807, and Archdurke Ferdinand II of Tyrol later added the Chapel of the Holy Blood within the church.

In 1984, the parish church celebrated the 600th anniversary of the Eucharistic Miracle of Seefeld. Today, the parish church continues to be one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations related to a eucharistic miracle. Here, the faithful can renew and express their faith in Christ and his true presence in the Eucharist.

What to See

Thanks to its many endowments and enlargements from patrons over the years, the Parish Church of St. Oswald is considered one of the most important Gothic buildings in Tirol.

Inside the church, pilgrims and visitors can see the hole in the ground where the knight sank up to his knees, covered by a grate. A new altar has been built over the old one, but constructed so that the knight's handprints in the original stone altar can still be seen.

Near the high altar, marble steps lead up to the Chapel of the Holy Blood, which contains a monstrance holding the miraculous host. Nearby is an old book that gives an account of the miracle in many languages. Throughout the church's interior, frescoes and paintings depict the miraculous event, as well as scenes from the life of the Scottish martyr St. Oswald.

The Augustinian monastery built in 1516 is now the five-star Hotel Klosterbräu. Surrounded by the majestic mountains and lush countryside for which Tirol is famous, the village of Seefeld offers pilgrims and visitors an environment of beauty and tranquility. There are many hiking trails near the church.


Quick Facts on Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle

Site Information
Names:Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle
State:Tirol
Country:Austria
Categories:Shrines; Catholic Shrines
Feat:Miracle Site
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Austria
Coordinates:47.328763° N, 11.186373° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle

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References

  1. Kevin J. Wright, Catholic Shrines of Central and Eastern Europe (1999), 56-60.
  2. Seefeld Church of St. Oswald - Walk Seefeld

More Information

Article Info

Title:Seefeld Eucharistic Miracle
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:01/12/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/usa/seefeld-eucharistic-miracle/austria/seefeld-eucharistic-miracle
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