The five stained glass windows that grace the side nave of the cathedral take us through stages of the Eucharistic miracle. They were installed at various times from 1436 to 1870. The Kings of Belgium, Leopold I and Leopold II, presented the first windows on the lower level. The others were gifts from various noble families of the country.
The first ten windows represent the story as it came to Brussels in the middle of the 15th century. The ancient document reads:
“In 1369 a rich merchant from Enghien who hated the Catholic religion, had some consecrated Hosts stolen. He worked with a young man from Louvain (on windows 1-3). The merchant was assassinated mysteriously a few days later. His widow, surmising it was a punishment from Heaven, got rid of the Hosts by giving them to friends of her husband. These friends were filled with hatred of things Catholic.
“On Good Friday 1370, the friends met and began to slash the Hosts with knives, and the Hosts began to bleed! The desecrators were badly frightened and entrusted the Hosts to an important Catholic merchant. “This merchant revealed the whole story to the curate of the Church of Notre Dame. The curate took possession of the Hosts and the desecrators were condemned to death by the Duke of Brabant. The Hosts were taken in procession to the cathedral of St. Gudula”.
The Eucharistic miracle remains an important part of the traditions of Brussels and is something of a national symbol.