Friday, September 22, 2006

Saint Januarius

Saint Januarius, or San Gennaro, was the Bishop of Benevento. Sources claim that he died in 305 during the persecution of Diocletian near in the sulfur mines, where he was visiting imprisoned deacons. He was beheaded along with many other companions. His body was later taken to Naples Italy, where he is now the patron saint.

His feast Day is September 10th, and he remains extremely popular, despite very limited information about his life and works.This is primarily due to the miracle that occurs annually... The liquefaction of his blood.

In small round glass globes in an ornate reliquary there is kept the dried blood of the saint. On his feast day or on the first Sunday in May, the dried "blood" becomes liquid after being handled by a priest during the service and ceremony.

Some scientists suggest that it is not blood but instead a gel like hydrated iron oxide. Such a concotion would solidify until shaken or otherwise moved. This would also explain why the blood liquified during an earthquake.

The first recorded reference to the "miracle of the blood" was in 1389.

More: The Blood of Saint Januarius

1 comment:

Miss Marjie said...

I guess "the miracle of the hydrated iron oxide" just doesn't sound quite as mystical as "the miracle of the blood" ;)