A Communion host that turned red after it fell on the floor of St. Augustine Church in South St. Paul in June is not a miracle, according to a news release from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The host, which was dropped during a June 19 Mass, was placed in water so it could dissolve and be disposed of in the ground in accordance with church law.
A week later, however, the host had not completely dissolved and had turned red, according to media reports at the time. The pastor then gave the host to the archdiocese, which sent it to an unnamed laboratory for testing.
Test results showed that the discoloration was caused by a virus, according to an archdiocesan spokesperson.
“Exhaustive biological analysis by an independent scientific laboratory has determined that the reddish coloration on the Holy Communion host fragment that was kept in a water solution after it was discovered on the floor of St. Augustine Church in West Saint Paul following Mass on June 19 was caused by an organic virus,” the Dec. 14 news release said.
The host has since been disposed of in a manner prescribed by church law.
“While the Catholic Church fully recognizes the possibility of miracles and remains open to their possibility, it does so with extreme scrutiny, investigation and care,” the release said.