“Here is the meaning of this blood which, united with the blood shed by Christ and that of all martyrs of every place and time, is a living testimony that love always wins.”
More than 2,000 people gathered in Naples’ Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary for the feast of St. Januarius, the city’s patron saint, known as San Gennaro in Italian. The bishop is believed to have been martyred during the Christian persecution of Emperor Diocletian.
In Neapolitan lore, the failure of the blood to liquefy signals war, famine, disease, or other disasters. The reputed miracle usually occurs up to three times a year: Sept. 19, the saint’s feast day; the first Saturday of May; and Dec. 16, the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of the nearby Mount Vesuvius.
In his homily, the archbishop of Naples cautioned against reducing the veneration of the city’s saint to mere superstition.
“It matters little, my…