How many hosts can a priests consume?

I recently read an article in Columbia magazine, entitled ‘These are the martyr’s of today!’ Earlier this year, ISIS militants raided a missionary in Yemen. The ISIS militants were set on killing everyone in the missionary. While these militants were performing their evil acts murdering the Sisters, the Father in the convent was able to consume all of the hosts (except the large host which he dissolved in water). I can only imagine this was a substantial quantity of hosts. I know that priests are allowed two hosts per day, and per the extraordinary situations, can consume one or two more I think (if other priests are not available to perform mass, a holiday, etc.).

My question is this: in such a circumstance where these militants could have stolen the host and desecrated them, would this would be a circumstance where an exception would be made to consume more than the allotted daily “allowance” of hosts and granted ex post facto?


Yes, extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary actions.

The priest is not technically limited to receiving “two hosts” in a day. The limitations are in regard to how many Masses he should say in a day. However, priests sometimes have to consume hosts that have fallen on the floor or are left over at a Mass in a chapel with no tabernacle. It is no different than consuming any remaining of Precious Blood after communion.

The rules in place for the number of Masses a priest should say in a day are, of course, for the normal course of events and are in place to prevent Mass from becoming a money making opportunity or the number of Masses from becoming so burdensome that its celebration is no longer reverent. A situation where a priest is consuming hosts to prevent their desecration is entirely different.

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