Wednesday, September 19, 2018

St. Januarius's Blood Liquifies Again!

Good news!  
St. Januarius’s blood liquified again this year. We can sorely use the example of courage this bishop showed at his martyrdom in 305 A.D.

 He is known in Italian as San Gennaro, and his bones and a reliquary of his blood are preserved in Naples’ cathedral. His blood liquefies and becomes fresh three times a year: on September 19, December 16, and the Saturday before the first Sunday of May.  September 19 is the day of his martyrdom, and December 16 is the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1631 when the lava stopped at the doors of Naples, considered a remarkable miracle through St. Januarius' intercession.
I write this on his feast day, September 19 and it has been reported that the liquification happened again at the Cathedral of Naples, Italy. Over the centuries, whenever the blood has not liquified, it is seen as a bad omen. Instances include: 1939, when WWII erupted; 1940, when Italy joined the war; 1943, Italy was occupied by Nazis; 1980, an earthquake hit South Italy. 
The blood had liquified last year also, which was a great relief since on December 16, 2016,  it did not. On that day, at 7.15 p.m. the vial was returned to the shrine, "undoubtedly solid," as stated by Abbot Vincenzo. Before ending the ritual, he added: "We shouldn't think of tragedies and calamities. We are men of faith and we must keep on praying."  I am not aware of any tragedies that followed around that time.

Who is St. Januarius?
St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento during the Emperor Diocletion’s persecution.  Bishop Januarius went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison but ended up imprisoned with them.
A number of attempts to kill him failed.  I always find it amazing to hear of saints who miraculously survived attempts to kill them. Why didn’t persecutors pause and consider that maybe the courageous and faithful Christian before them is being protected by the very God he preaches?  So stupid. 
St. Januarius came out unharmed after being thrown into a fiery furnace. When thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheater, they did not attack.  Finally, he was beheaded, and his blood collected by Christians and kept in a sealed glass vial for veneration.  Through all these centuries, it has continually demonstrated miraculous properties for which science cannot explain.
And so, praise the Lord!  He gives us signs and wonders every day and sometimes,  they are so very obvious that even science cannot explain it away.  St. Januarius, pray for us!
For more inspiration check out Patti's latest bookHoly Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to HeavenOther books include:  Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the best-selling Amazing Grace Series.
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