One of the earliest reports of a mystical reception of the Eucharist is that of St. Clement, Bishop of Ancyra, who suffered a long imprisonment and torture for the Faith during the fourth-century persecution of Diocletian. After being persecuted elsewhere, he was imprisoned in Rome, where he so impressed his fellow prisoners with his patience, his inspired words and his compliance with the will of God, that many asked for Baptism at his hands. Instructions in the Faith and Baptisms took place during the late hours of the night so as not to arouse the fury of the guards.
During one of these nights the assembled group saw the cell become illuminated by an extraordinary light. Through this light stepped a handsome young man clothed in shining garments. Walking toward the bishop, the heavenly being gave him a chalice and a large Host, and then disappeared. St. Clement divided the Host among the astonished witnesses and shared the contents of the chalice. History relates that the following day all went joyfully to their execution except St. Clement, who suffered still more before he was eventually beheaded.
Reprinted with permission from Witness Ministries, a lay apostolate dedicated to renewing appreciation for the Mass as the greatest gift which God has given to His beloved spouse, the Church. Their mission is to show how, in the Eucharistic Liturgy, Jesus renews and transforms us–and the world–in His life and love. Their published titles include:
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