CNA Staff, May 3, 2021 / 06:00 am
The blood of St. Januarius, patron of the southern Italian city of Naples, liquefied on Sunday.
Naples archdiocese announced that the miraculous event took place at 5:18 p.m. local time on May 2.
A video posted to YouTube on May 3 showed a monsignor displaying the reliquary and turning it to demonstrate that the blood inside a spherical ampoule had turned from a solid to a liquid state.
During the miracle, the dried, red-colored mass confined to one side of the reliquary becomes blood that covers the entire glass. In local lore, the failure of the blood to liquefy signals war, famine, disease, or other disaster.
The liquefaction usually occurs annually on the afternoon of the first Saturday in May. But this year, it happened on the second day of prayer in honor of the third-century bishop of Naples.
The bones and blood of St. Januarius -- San Gennaro in Italian -- are preserved as relics in Naples Cathedral. The bishop is believed to have been martyred during the Diocletian persecution.
The reputed miracle is locally known and accepted, though it is yet to receive official Church recognition. The liquefaction traditionally happens at least three times a year: Sept. 19, the saint’s feast day; the first Saturday of May; and Dec. 16, the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of the nearby Mount Vesuvius.