Who can doubt the Real Presence?
On the evening of the last day of his October 1995 visit to the United States, Pope John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day, beginning with Mass at the Oriole Park in Camden Yards, followed by a parade through the downtown streets, a visit to the Basilica of The Assumption, the first cathedral in the country, lunch at a local soup kitchen, run by the Catholic Charities, a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in the north Baltimore area, and finally a quick stop at St. Mary’s Seminary.
The schedule was tight so the plan was to simply greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But Pope John Paul II made his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was first to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security personnel quickly flew into action ahead of the Pope. Their activities included a sweep of the building, paying closest attention to the chapel where Pope John Paul II would be praying. For this purpose, highly trained dogs were used to detect any persons who might be present.
The dogs are trained to locate living people in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These intelligent and eager canines went through their rounds in the halls, offices and classrooms quickly, and were then sent into the chapel. They went up and down the aisles and past the pews, and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed and whined and pointed, refusing to leave; they were convinced that they discovered SOMEONE there and firmly remained, their attention riveted to the tabernacle, until called out by the handlers. We Catholics know they were right; they found a REAL LIVING PERSON in the tabernacle!