On January 31, 1906 on the small island of Tumaco at 10 o’clock in the morning, the earth shook violently for almost ten minutes. All the inhabitants of the village ran to the church and begged the pastor, Fr. Gerardo Larrondo, to lead a procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
The sea was rising and had already engulfed part of the beach. It had plunged inland a kilometer and a half and a mountainous wall of water was building up and threatening to drown everyone and everything in one gigantic wave.
Fr. Gerardo consumed the small Hosts in the ciborium and set the large Host aside. He called out to his people: “Let us go, my people. Let us go toward the beach, and may God have pity on us.” Comforted by the presence of the Eucharistic Christ they began their march, weeping and crying out to God.
Scarcely had Fr. Larrondo reached the beach with the monstrance in hand when he advanced courageously to the water’s edge and as the wave came rushing in he calmly raised the Sacred Host and traced the sign of the Cross. It was a moment of tremendous solemnity. The wave hesitated , paused and backed off.
Fr. Larrondo and Fr. Julian alongside him saw what was transpiring, and the people, overjoyed, cried out “Miracle, miracle!”. In truth, a force beyond that of nature prevailed. The mighty wall of water that threatened to wipe the village of Tumaco off the face of the earth was halted and began to recede, and the sea resumed its normal level.
The inhabitants of Tumaco were overcome with joy at having been saved from death by the favor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Prayers of fervent thanks poured out. The miracle of Tumaco became known across the world, and Fr. Larrondo received letters from Europe asking for his prayers.