On the 18th September, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Januarius. Januarius was the Bishop of Naples in the 3rd Century. Tradition holds that he hid other Christians to save their lives during the great persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Diocletian.
After St. Januarius’ public execution, a faithful woman named Eusebia collected his blood in two flasks to keep as a relic. Miraculously the dry blood regularly liquifies and then becomes solid again, a phenomenon first recorded in 1389. During the miracle, the dried, red-colored mass confines to one side of the reliquary and covers the entire glass.
This wonderful phenomenon happens thrice a year: Sept. 19, the saint’s feast day, the Saturday before the first Sunday of May, and Dec. 16, the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The liquefaction of the blood of the martyr St. Januarius occurred on May 2nd 2020 amid the coronavirus lockdown, leading the Archbishop of Naples to bless the city with the miraculous relic.
St. Januarius is the patron saint of Naples, blood donors, goldsmiths, and people who have suffered heart attacks. His heroic life offers a valuable example to imitate. St Januarius Pray for us!