Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A miracle, on time as scheduled

Every year, the blood of Saint Januarius (in Italian, San Gennaro) liquifies three times - on his feastday, September 19; on December 16, when his prayers are believed to have halted the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius; and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May. Yesterday was the day, and what do you know ...

Dried blood of Naples' patron saint liquefies

(ANSA) - Naples, September 19 - Thousands of people packed into this city's cathedral Monday morning to watch the blood of patron saint San Gennaro liquefy in the repetition of a centuries-old 'miracle.' The miracle officially took place at 09.56 (07.56gmt) and was announced by the archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano, who held up a phial containing the blood while a white handkerchief was waved from the altar to the applause of the crowd. This year the miracle took on special importance because it marked 1,700 years from the martyrdom of San Gennaro (St. Januarius) in 305 AD .

Aside from the faithful, leading local politicians attended the ceremony which was also broadcast live by a host of national and international TV networks ...

... For the faithful and superstitious, the ritual's success is a good omen for the city while its failure is a sign of impending disaster .

In fact, disaster has struck on at least five occasions when the blood failed to liquefy, including in 1527 when tens of thousands of people died from the plague and in 1980 when 3,000 people were killed in an earthquake which devastated much of southern Italy ...

A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of the phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon .

Some believe it is due to the shaking of the containers or the penetration of warmth from the holder's hands.

Well, the Church does not demand that we believe in such miracles. But, come on ... the shaking and the warmth liquify blood that is 1,700 years old?


1 comment:

  1. Well, if they have decades of old vials, etc, I'd be interesting to see a DNA test on the blood from year to year to see if it stays consistant.

    I mean, there are things we can't explain out there... This always COULD be one of them, right?

    Shocking, I'm trying to keep an open mind about something, lol. ;) ;)