Over a decade ago, a small Catholic chapel in Jackson, Michigan, became the site of what many believe was an authentic 'eucharistic miracle.' On an otherwise ordinary Friday at St. John School, children and adults saw a divine image, leaving a lasting impression on all present. But was this sighting of Jesus considered an official miracle?

Related: Who Built the Cross at Van Horn & US-127 in Jackson, Michigan?

On February 5, 2011, Beth Thorrez and Kathy Kryst led Friday adorations and guided students in prayer while Father Robert Pienta exposed the host, and the usual routine began. Only this time, a class of fifth graders noticed something beyond routine, which may have been extraordinary enough to be considered a miracle.

The Image of Christ Appears on a Eucharist in Jackson, Michigan

Michigan's 'Miracle' of 2011: Jesus Appears in School Eucharist

As the children knelt before the exposed host, they noticed something: the eucharist appeared to bear a 'sketch' of Jesus' face. Unsure it was a trick of light, they called the principal, Kathy Tarnacki. Though initially skeptical, Tarnicki was astonished when she saw the image herself and described a profound feeling of not wanting to leave the chapel. Dave Krajewski, a psychotherapist with Crossroads Therapy, was called in to see the eucharist. He described the image as the outline of a male figure in red or vibrant orange with long brown hair who looked like he was wearing a robe.

Witnesses claimed the image became even more detailed as the day wore on. Once word spread, an estimated 500 people converged upon the school, with lines wrapping around its interior. The Jackson Catholic community decided to keep the adoration open until 8 p.m. that night so others could come to see it for themselves.

A Fading Miracle's Lasting Impact on the Jackson, Michigan Catholic Community

Michigan's 'Miracle' of 2011: Jesus Appears in School Eucharist

The parish priests, including Father Pienta, Father James Shaver, and Father Cecilo Reyna, witnessed the image. However, the image vanished once the eucharist was removed from the parish. The diocese requested that the host be placed back in the chapel for further prayer, but the image did not reappear, and it was consumed.

Related: Where Did the Cross on Jackson's Sackrider Hill End Up?

Students were asked to draw what they had seen in the following days, and their drawings were remarkably accurate. One kindergartener even depicted Jesus with tears of joy. Though never officially declared a eucharistic miracle, the event left a deep impact.

The Cross at Van Horn and US-127 in Jackson, Michigan

Built and erected on April 13, 2019, here's a look at the day the cross on US-127 and the Van Horn Road was raised, nearly a year after the Sackrider Hill Cross was taken down.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

Michigan's Oldest, Still-Operating Church

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