During a massive flood, a monstrance holding the Eucharist was miraculously preserved.
During the 15th century torrential rain fell on the French city of Avignon. The Sorgue and Rhône rivers continued to rise until they flooded the lower part of the city, making it one of the worst floods ever in that region. A group of Franciscan friars were worried that their small church would be destroyed.
Even worse, the Eucharist had been exposed in a monstrance on the altar and was not put away before the flood waters came and the Franciscans escaped.
Two friars went in their boat and rowed towards the chapel to assess the damage. They couldn’t believe their eyes.
After opening the front door they saw before them a sight that seemed straight out of the Bible. The waters were miraculously parted on either side, reminiscent of Moses leading his people through the Red Sea. The middle of the chapel was completely dry, with the altar and monstrance untouched by the water. Six feet of water lined the sides of the church as the Franciscans made their way to the altar.
Immediately the friars went back to report what they saw and to have others confirm the miracle. For a few days the miracle was maintained and several hundred residents of the city witnessed the miraculous event. They processed with the monstrance to a different Franciscan church and read the following passage, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” (Exodus 14:21).
The friars wrote down the miracle in their register, which is still preserved there.
To this day the anniversary of this miracle is kept at this church on November 30.
image: H. Zell | CC BY SA 3.0