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Friday, September 19, 2014

St. Januarius


Ordinary Time: September 19th

Little is known about St. Januarius. He was Bishop of Benevento in Campania. He died near Naples, about the year 305, martyred under the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.

Around the year 400 the relics of St. Januarius were moved to Naples, which honors Januarius as a patron saint. He supposedly protected Naples from a threatened eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius. The "miracle of Januarius" has world-wide fame. At least three times a year—on his feast day, December 16, and the first Sunday of May—the sealed vial with congealed blood of the saint liquifies, froths and bubbles up. This miraculous event has occurred every year, with rare exceptions. Popular tradition holds that the liquefaction is a sign that the year will be preserved from disasters. (In 1939, the beginning of World War II, the blood did not bubble up.)

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