The Pope Kisses a Relic and A Miracle Ensues…

No, that’s not from the 16th century, it’s from this week

While Pope Francis was giving some advice to the religious, priests and seminarians of Naples on Saturday, a miracle occurred: a vial of dried blood from a fourth century saint liquefied.  This stunning but locally known and accepted phenomenon is said to happen three times a year: May 1, Sept. 19, which is the saint’s feast day, and Dec. 16.

The last time this occured with a Pope was in 1848 with Pius IX. It didn’t happen when St. John Paul II visited the city in October of 1979, or when Benedict XVI went in October of 2007.  The blood belongs to St. Januarius, Patron of Naples and former bishop and martyr of the city, whose bones are also preserved in the cathedral. He’s believed to have been martyred during the infamous persecution of Christians during the rule of the Roman emperor Diocletian, who retired in 305.

Good grief.

3 thoughts on “The Pope Kisses a Relic and A Miracle Ensues…

  1. The explanation is also “locally known”: when someone takes the vial in his or her hands, it becomes a bit warmer, and the blood liquefies. It would have happen with everybody’s blood, not just San Gennaro’s.


  2. Jona Lendering stole my thunder… What a genius! Yes! Try to convince a “devout” of such a “phenomenon”!
    Since I am out of thunder let me “drizzle” this: The name San Genaro reminds me of my childhood days in the heavily Italian populated Sao Paulo Brazil, many Neapolitan (San Genaro is the patron saint of Naples), who used to go out in procession on “Holy” Friday quoting the name of their favorite saints as they chanted:

    “San Genaro, fai del bene a tutti, ma ricordati di me
    San Genaro triste e muto, guarda il cielo e chiede aiuto”

    The mentioning of San Genaro certainly makes one remember how he could have grown up as a Protestant in a section of the town where not being a Roman Catholic, not having the picture of your patron saint hanging in your house walls was a reason for discrimination and bullying and how today, after having “passed my grown up days” I can recall it all with humor and a certain degree of “superior” derision…

    (Not particularly interesting, but I never am anyway… no surprise here… Aiuta me San Genaro!)


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