|Miracle of San Gennaro (LaPresse)|
The blood of St Januarius (San Gennaro) has failed to liquefy at the expected time prompting concerns about what it might signify.
St Januarius was a Bishop of Naples who is believed to have been martyred around the year 305 during the Diocletian persecution.
His blood is kept in a sealed glass ampoule in Naples Cathedral and traditionally liquefies three times a year: on September 19, December 16 and the Saturday before the first Sunday of May.
After venerating the relic of St Januarius’ blood:
"The Archbishop said that the blood has liquefied partially: so the Saint loves us partially. (A bit of an awkward statement given that a saint in heaven can hardly love only partially. Perhaps the Holy Father meant the Saint was showing a loving measure of disapproval for... .) Everyone needs a little more conversion so that he loves us more. Thank you very much, and please, do not forget to pray for me."
(T)hroughout the centuries the absence of the astonishing phenomenon has been precedent to religious persecutions, eruptions of the Mount Vesuvius, earthquakes, revolutions, wars and the deaths of kings, archbishops and Popes. Rarely the liquefaction happens outside of the three traditional dates.
One of the exceptions was in 1799, when Napoleon's general Championnet, after conquering Naples and establishing the Parthenopean Republic, persuaded the archbishop of Naples to celebrate the miracle as a token of peace. When Championnet held the vial the blood immediately became liquid, which was seen both as a "sign from Heaven" to accept the new Republican government, and as a "betrayal" from the Saint for consenting to French revolutionaries.—CM