INNOCENT III 1198-1216

Water Mixed with Wine in the Sacrifice of the Mass *


[From the same letter to John, Nov. 29, 1202]


416 You have asked (also) whether the water with the wine is changed into the blood. Regarding this, however, opinions among the scholastics vary. For it seems to some that, since from the side of Christ two special sacraments flowed-of the redemption in the blood and of regeneration in the water-into those two the wine and water, which are mixed in the chalice, are changed by divine power. . . . But others hold that the water with the wine is transubstantiated into the blood; when mixed with the wine, it passes over into the wine. . . . Besides it can be said that water does not pass over into blood but remains surrounded by the accidents of the original wine. . . . This, however, is wrong to think, which some have presumed to say, namely, that water is changed into phlegm. . . . But among the opinions mentioned that is judged the more probable which asserts that the water with the wine is changed into blood.


[From the letter “In quadam nostra” to Hugo, Bishop of Ferrara, March 5, 1209]


417 You say that you have read in a certain decretal letter of ours that it is wrong to think what certain ones have presumed to say, namely, that the water of the Eucharist is changed into phlegm, for they say falsely that from the side of Christ not water but a watery liquid came forth. Moreover, although you recall that great and authentic men have thought this, whose opinions in speech and in writings up to this time you have followed, from whose (opinions), however, we differ, you are compelled to agree with our opinion. . . . For if it had not been water but phlegm which flowed from the side of the Savior, he who saw and gave testimony to the truth [cf. John 19:35] certainly would not have said water but phlegm. . . . It remains, therefore, that of whatever nature that water was, whether natural, or miraculous, or created anew by divine power, or resolved in some measure of component parts, without doubt it was true water.