CV NEWS FEED // The blood of St. Januarius again liquified on the martyr’s feast day in Naples as it has annually since the first recorded instance of the miracle in 1389.
“Every year we see firsthand how the witness of a man who generously gave his life for the Gospel, until his last breath, until his last drop of blood, is not something of the past, a historic event useful only to write about in some pages of a book,” said the Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples.
The abbot of the chapel of the treasury of the Naples Cathedral, Abbot Vincenzo De Gregorio, declared that the miracle had taken place at the start of Mass on Tuesday.
“We have just taken from the safe the reliquary with the blood of our patron saint, which immediately completely liquefied,” he announced.
As the archbishop demonstrated the liquid state of the blood, the audience applauded and the deputy of the wisdom of the people waved a white cloth.
St. Januarius, a patron saint of Naples and of blood banks, was a 3rd-century bishop and martyr whose dried blood was collected at his martyrdom and reserved in a glass ampoule in the shape of a rounded cruet.
Traditionally, his blood liquefies on his feast day and two other occasions every year – the first Saturday of May and December 16.
Though there have been investigations of the phenomenon in the past, there is no scientific explanation of the liquefaction of the saint’s blood.
Archbishop Battaglia discussed the miracle at Mass, describing it as “a testimony that is present, living, current, and capable of speaking to the heart of every believer, pushing him to more consistency, beyond courage, to a life of giving, steeped in sharing.”
Battaglia said the blood of St. Januarius makes him think of the unjust bloodshed that happens every day “whenever a person is wounded, humiliated, not respected in his dignity.”
“I believe that the real miracle will take place the day this blood [of St. Januarius] is forever hard, compact, clotted!” Battaglia added:
Yes, I believe that the real miracle will happen when justice kisses peace, when good overpowers evil forever, when the good news of Jesus Christ dries up the pain of the world, illuminates the darkness for good, brings all things to completion, enters so deeply into the hearts of men and women that their words, their deeds, their thoughts will be nothing but goodness, benevolence, beauty.
The relic of St. Januarius’ blood will remain on display for veneration in the Cathedral of Naples until September 26.