Disaster Averted – Miracle Blood Liquefies (Again)
A vial of dried blood supposedly belonging to the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius, has performed its yearly miracle- transforming itself into liquid in front of the gathered faithful.
Archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe, announced that the blood had changed state on Wednesday at 5.50pm – a little later than in previous years.
Each year thousands of Roman Catholic faithful flock to three special services at Naples Cathedral where the dried blood of the fourth-century martyr is said to turn to liquid.
The showing of the vial is eagerly awaited because, according to tradition, whenever the blood has failed to liquefy a catastrophe has occurred.
The December ceremony has been going on for the past four centuries Failure of the blood to liquefy has spelled disaster in the past. 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.