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The Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco

A Eucharistic Miracle happened in Tumaco, Colombia.

On Jan 31 in 1906 an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest ever recorded, happened off the coast of South America in the pacific ocean. Its waveforms were observed at tide gauge stations as far away as Japan and the United States. The earthquake created a tidal wave that caused destruction and death across many port towns and villages except one. A small barrier island in the middle of it all was spared.

On the morning of January 31, 1906, the faithful of Tumaco, Colombia seeing that a very large wave was forming ran to the local parish and begged the priest, Father Gerardo Larrondo, to do something. He decided to lead the faithful in a Eucharistic Procession to the beach. It has been told that Fr. Gerardo consumed the small Hosts then encapsulated the large Host in the monstrance and led the people to the beach saying,

"Let's go my people. Let us go toward the beach and may God have pity on us!"

Once at the beach, my Grandmother, who had lived in Tumaco about 40 years after this miracle had occurred, said that the priest went into the ocean carrying the Eucharist and faced the tidal wave that had fully formed into a mountain of water. Fr. Gerardo made the sign of the cross with the Eucharist and the wave receded right then and there! Tumaco, Colombia was the only place in the region that did not suffer the loss of life or major damage from this tidal wave.

I didn't know what to think when my Grandmother first told me this, I was a kid about 14 years old, the internet was not mainstream yet, so I didn't look it up. I did not disbelieve her, but I thought maybe this was some kind of legend. However, it did make an impression on me because I remembered it 25 years later as I was searching the internet and came across many accounts of this Eucharistic Miracle.

First-hand accounts of the event say that Fr. Larrondo and the faithful present with him "were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even the wind and sea obey?" This reminds me of how the Lord opened the Red Sea for Moses and his people to cross before their enemy could harm them.

I reflect on the courage and faith of the people and the priest and wonder, do I have this same faith? What would I do facing a mountain of water that threatened to destroy everything I loved? I can only pray and hope that I may possess the same faith and courage as the people of Tumaco, Colombia that morning of January 31, 1906.

The good news is, Jesus, assures us that we could indeed move mountains with only a mustard seed of faith. As it is written in Matthew 17:20 "…for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there, and it will move; nothing will be impossible to you." He proved it on this day to the faithful who believed and cried out in full faith for God's mercy. In the face of imminent destruction from a mountain of water this faithful priest and his flock stood strong with their faith in the words Jesus had spoken and believed them and acted on them with all their heart. They were indeed delivered!

Hebrews 11:29 states, "By faith, the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land…"

We can also say that by faith, the people of Tumaco saved their village from the destruction of a tidal wave caused by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in history by invoking the 1906 Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco, Colombia.

Written by: Milena Jackson

Illustration by: Milena Jackson

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