Blood Of St. Januarius Miraculously Liquefies Again On His Feast Day

Blood Of St. Januarius Miraculously Liquefies Again On His Feast Day

The blood of St. Januarius liquefied on his feast day 19th September in the Cathedral of Naples. This miracle has been occurring up to 18 times each year for the past 600 years. It is only one of a number of blood miracles that have taken place with blood that was collected soon after the death of certain martyrs.

Three times a year, this locally known and accepted phenomenon is now said to happen. May 1, Sept. 19 Feast of St. Januarius and Dec. 16

Pope Francis and Cardinal Sepe hold relic of St. Januarius' blood in Naples cathedral March 21, 2015

When St. Januarius’ remains were first transferred to the catacombs in Naples, the dried blood liquefied for the first time. For at least the last 600 years the blood has been liquefying several times a year. His body and a vial of his blood are entombed in the city’s cathedral. Since the 14th century a procession through the cathedral has taken place whenever the miracle takes place, with a priest holding the flasks of liquid blood.

It happened in 2015 in the presence of Pope Francis while he gave advice to priests and seminarians of Naples. A vial of dried blood of
St. Januarius a fourth century saint who is Patron of Naples and former bishop and martyr of the city liquefied.

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.

St. Januarius is believed to have been martyred during the infamous persecution of Christians during the rule of the Roman emperor Diocletian, who retired in 305. His bones are also preserved in the cathedral.

On March 21, 2015 at the end of the meeting with priests, religious and seminarians in the cathedral of Naples, Pope Francis gave a blessing with the relic. When received by the cardinal of the diocese, Crescenzio Sepe, the blood was still solid on one side of the vial.

When Pope Francis returned the reliquary, the cardinal told him: “It seems that St. Januarius loves the Pope, because the blood is already half liquefied.”

For the miracle to occur, it’s necessary to wait several minutes before the dried, red-colored mass confined to one side of the reliquary becomes blood that covers the entire glass.

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