How to face natural disasters? Shouldn’t men trust God much more than themselves?
Newsdesk (July 29, 2021, 3:00 PM, Gaudium Press) The story goes that in the year 1348, the parish priest of a little village called Alboraya, in Valencia, Spain, was quietly looking out his window at the violent July storms – very frequent at this time of year – when someone called to his door.
There appeared a man who was completely wet and, almost without strength, asked to speak to the priest, because in the neighboring village a dying man needed the sacraments. The priest, without hesitation, provided the viaticum and quickly left on his mule, despite the storm.
After piously carrying out his mission, when it was time to return to the parish, he encountered a tremendous unexpected event: arriving near the river to cross it, he noticed with amazement that the water level had risen excessively. All attempts were useless and very risky.
Determined to face the current, the priest led the animal into the murky waters. However, the worst happened: the priest, the animal, and even the amber containing the sacred hosts fell into the river. It was inevitable: the “Bread of Angels” began to scatter and get lost in the waters.
With great difficulty, the minister of God set out to find the Blessed Sacrament that was in his charge, but realizing that he could not do it alone, he ran to the village to seek help.
The most pious people of the village rushed to the river, where they began a careful search without leaving a single stone unexamined. Suddenly, a shout of joy was heard: we have found the shrine!
As the faithful approached, the joy quickly turned to disappointment, because the viaticum was not inside.
The search then continued when another shout was heard, “Holy Mary! No one will believe it…”
The priest had walked all the way to the parish to get a chalice and put on the liturgical vestments, but on his way back to the scene of the accident, he came across a great miracle: at the mouth of the river three “peixets” with something peculiar in their mouths were coming towards him.
It was a great miracle! The three fish swam towards him to deposit in the sacred chalice the hosts that had been lost.
Soon after standing up, the priest could see that the white hosts had not suffered any damage, and without any arrangement, the faithful began to sing. A procession began to the church, where the “relics” were devoutly deposited and would henceforth become part of the village’s history.
Well, facts like this, told nowadays, can easily be discredited; either by lack of faith, or because long ago God stopped giving signs to men, who prefer to trust in themselves.
Let the reading of this singular fact serve as a stimulus for us to believe that, although we are stuck in the mire of today’s pragmatism, the authentic and sincere faith in the Sacraments provides us with true wonders, if not miracles.
God simply asks us to believe in this real help that He can give us.
By Carlos de Oñate
 In the language spoken in this province, which is Valencian, it means: fish.
Compiled by Sarah Gangl