In 1284, in the small city of Kranenburg in the district of Kleve, there was a Eucharistic miracle known under the name of “Miracle of the Miraculous Crucifix.” A sacred Host was thrown near a tree by a shepherd who was not able to swallow the Holy Eucharist because of an illness. Later, the tree was cut in half and a perfectly carved crucifix fell to the ground. On the place where the crucifix was found, a church was built. That church is still there to this day and numerous pilgrims come to visit it.
Many documents describe this miracle that took place in 1280. A shepherd of Kranenburg after taking Holy Communion, was not able to swallow the Sacred Host and threw the Holy Eucharist against a tree in his garden. He was plagued with remorse over the incident and he decided to tell his parish priest.
The priest hastened to the place of the evil deed to try to recover the Host, but the search proved fruitless. A few years later, the shepherd decided to cut the tree down and he split it in two pieces. Right after it was cut down, a perfectly carved crucifix fell out of the tree.
The report of the crucifix that “had grown from a sacred Host” spread rapidly from town to town. The Bishops of Cologne and the Count of Kiev took a direct interest in the miracles, and pilgrims began to come in large numbers.
In 1408, the citizens of Kranenburg began the construction of a church in honor of the miracle. The church was completed in 1444 and it represents one of the most significant examples of the Gothic architectural style in the area of the lower Rhine River. Popes and Bishops have always promoted the cult of the Miraculous Crucifix, granting privileges and indulgences, the last of which were granted in the year 2000.