Friday, September 19, 2014
St. Januarius and the Blood Miracle
Today is the feast of St. Januarius or San Gennaro. It is also the day of the blood miracle! Here is more from the portanapoli.com site:
Yearly on the first weekend of May (on Saturday) and on the 19th September amazement spreads through Naples Cathedral. There one can marvel at how the blood of the beheaded San Gennaro liquifies in its ampoule.
The day of the blood miracle is an important feast for Naples and the people celebrate it accordingly. The Cathedral is surrounded by stalls selling sweets, cobs and all kinds of curiosities and kitsch...
Saint Gennaro was the bishop of Benevento and was beheaded during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 305. According to the legend a woman collected and kept some of the martyr’s blood in an ampoule, after he died. In 313 the miracle occurred for the first time, after the Saint’s skeleton and the ampoule with blood were brought to Naples. The skeleton was placed to rest in the catacomb together with the ampoule. In the 9th century the remains and blood of S. Gennaro were in a small chapel, next to the church, where in the 14th century the cathedral was built.
There are numerous records on the liquefaction of the blood, dating from times before 1649 when they officially started recording this miracle. One of the descriptions of the procession dates from the year 1389. According to writings in 1528 the blood miracle didn’t take place. This was the year the pest broke out and Naples didn’t receive its raise from France.
There are hundreds of records of the liquefaction dating from the 16th Century.
You can see another nice video here.