Miracle: St. Gennaro’s Relics Re-Vivify for Pope Francis [VIDEOS]

I used to watch the Bob and Penny Lord shows because they had a great way of traveling around and finding some great things worldwide about the Church that were really neat. I don’t recall them covering Naples and the miracle of St. Gennaro (Januarius). I can hear what they would be saying, though. I think they’d be pretty excited.

Back in the year 605, Gennaro was Bishop of Naples. Emperor Diocletian, who as we know was not a fan of Catholics, decided to whack him. The breviary says it was the President of Campania, Timotheus, that did the deed.

The Blood of the Martyr Gennaro

Reports the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Gennaro [Januarius] was thrown into a fiery furnace, but that the flames would not touch him, and that the saint and his companions were afterwards exposed in the amphitheatre to wild beasts without any effect. Timotheus declaring that this was due to magic, and ordering the martyrs to be beheaded, the persecutor was smitten with blindness, but Januarius cured him, and five thousand persons were converted to Christ before the martyrs were decapitated.

The coast cities strove to give a proper burial to these martyrs. Eventually, they succeeded and Gennaro was translated to Naples for burial, and that’s when even more miracles started to happen.

Continues the Encyclopedia:

Among these [miracles] is [the] remarkable the stopping of eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, whereby both that neighbourhood and places afar off have been like to be destroyed. It is also well known and is the plain fact, seen even unto this day, that when the blood of St. Januarius, kept dried up in a small glass phial, is put in sight of the head of the same martyr, it is wont to melt and bubble in a very strange way, as though it had but freshly been shed.

Every year, with bated breath, Napolitans await the feast of St. Gennaro to see if the relics of a Host that was a eucharistic miracle will again become liquid blood appearing as if freshly shed.

The Encyclopedia reports roughly 18 time a year, but my favorite is when the so-called “Aunts of St. Gennaro” come around to venerate his relic.

Eighteen times in each year, i.e. (1) on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May and the eight following days, (2) on the feast of St. Januarius (19 Sept.) and during the octave, and (3) on 16 December, a silver bust believed to contain the head of St. Januarius is exposed upon the altar, and the reliquary just described is brought out and held by the officiant in view of the assembly. Prayers are said by the people, begging that the miracle may take place, while a group of poorwomen, known as the “zie di San Gennaro” (aunts of St. Januarius), make themselves specially conspicuous by the fervour, and sometimes, when the miracle is delayed, by the extravagance, of their supplications.

Pope Francis is Not an Aunt, but San Gennaro must think he’s alright

Then, today, as Pope Francis was visiting, he blessed the crowd with the relic, and the Cardinal noted as he took the relic that is had “half-liquefied.”

Pope Francis (I like how he grabs the microphone to be sure he could comment) remarked that this means the Saint only half loves us because we have more conversion of our hearts to do.

Ultimately, the relic of St. Gennaro (Januarius) completely liquefied.

This is the best source of the raw Italian video I could find:


another copy of the CTV (I wonder why CTV hasn’t posted this directly):  click to see alternate Italian video here.


Rome Reports also did a video, but there is a chatty Cathy thing going on that seems to take away from the experience for me, but maybe you will like it:

Aleteia has a good report on it, but I could not get their video to play on my computer because the site insists that one have adobe flash installed (I don’t), and they seem to have far too many scripts and behavioral marketing extensions and scripts on that site for me. However, it does appear that the video does play on iPads and iPhones, so if you’d like to see it, click here.

I’m not sure what to think of this other than Pope Francis isn’t an Aunt of San Genarro, and it isn’t one of the other days when this happens typically. They are reporting in those links that the last time this happened was for Blessed Pope Pius IX. He was Vatican I. He also dealt with the Papal States, wrote an encyclical decrying the Armenian Genocide, and opened a commission to investigate the eventual dogmatic proclamation of the Immaculate Conception.

Maybe there is some other link there, but who knows what St. Gennaro is thinking. Anybody else have a guess?

This article, Miracle: St. Gennaro’s Relics Re-Vivify for Pope Francis [VIDEOS] is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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