Miraculous Amsterdam

more than a year ago
Amsterdam first put its name on the map of Europe not with its trading prowess, its port or with prostitution, but with a supposed miracle that’s still celebrated today on March 12. The story goes that in 1345 a man was gravely ill and summoned a priest to administer communion, but the man was so sick that he couldn’t keep anything down and kept vomiting, so the clergyman advised the women of the household to throw any expelled holy liquids on the fire, which they did. The next morning they discovered a perfectly formed host, or communion wafer, in the fireplace, which seemed impervious to the surrounding flames. A miracle was declared, a chapel was built on the site of the house and pilgrims began streaming into Amsterdam. Today pilgrims of a different sort still converge on the city and quite a few probably also vomit here, but we doubt that the shoarma and French fries that come up have any religious significance. It’s also interesting to note that the chapel was later destroyed and the building that now occupies its place houses the Amsterdam Dungeon. Sources also don’t seem to mention what became of the man who started all of the commotion with his holy heaving.


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