Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal

The Pope performed a 'miracle' yesterday... kinda

Mar 22nd 2015, 12:09 PM 35,913 61

Vatican Pope Source: AP/Press Association Images


Or a little bit of one, at least.

The dried blood of Naples’ patron saint Januarius half-liquefied yesterday during a ceremony when Pope Francis held and kissed the relic while on a visit to the southern Italian city.

Archbishop of Naples Crescenzio Sepe showed the glass vial to the congregation in the city’s cathedral and declared: “The blood has half liquefied, which shows that Saint Januarius loves our pope and Naples.”

Francis, known for his plain speaking, quipped that he and his fellow visitors to the city’s cathedral had failed to win the saint’s full affection.

The bishop just announced that the blood half-liquefied. We can see the saint only half loves us.

“We must all spread the word, so that he loves us more” he added.

Italy Pope Pope Francis kisses the relic Source: AP/Press Association Images

Each year thousands of Roman Catholic faithful go to the three special services at Naples Cathedral where the dried blood of the fourth-century martyr is said to turn to liquid.

Some people say the blood even increases in mass during these displays, though the church does not officially recognise any of the relic’s alleged transformations as a miracle.

The Roman bishop was decapitated during the persecution of Christians during the reign of the emperor Diocletian in 305 AD.

The showing of the vial is eagerly awaited because, according to tradition, whenever the blood has failed to liquefy a catastrophe has occurred.

The ceremony has been going on, sometimes up to 18 times a year, for the past six centuries.

In 1527 and 1528 non-liquefaction was followed by the plague. In 1559 famine came and in 1833 cholera raged through the city. In 1944 during World War II non-liquefaction was proceeded by bombing raids by Allied aircraft.

The change in liquidity is thought to be caused by chemicals present in the vial.

© – AFP 2015

Mary McAleese: ‘Pope Francis carries a residual element of misogyny’ >

Read: Pope Francis says he ‘doesn’t mind’ being Pope but misses pizza >

Send a tip to the author



    Back to top