‘Bad omen’: Miracle of St. Januarius’s blood fails, blood doesn’t liquify

'Historically when his blood does not liquify… it’s a bad omen,' explained Father John Zuhlsdorf.
Thu Dec 17, 2020 - 3:05 pm EST
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The blood of St. Januarius did not liquify on December 16. screenshot

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NAPLES, Italy, December 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews– The dried blood of St. Januarius failed to liquify Wednesday, one of three days every year that the miracle is reported to happen. 

“Historically when his blood does not liquify… it’s a bad omen,” wrote priest-blogger Father John Zuhlsdorf. “The Wuhan Devil. Harris Biden. Now this.” 

The tri-annual miracle of the liquefaction of St. Januarius’s blood has been reported since at least the 14th century and occurs on at least three specific dates every year: the saint’s feast day of September 19, the Saturday before the first Sunday of May, and December 16, which is the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 

“When the blood failed to liquefy on September 19, 1980, a massive earthquake hit southern Italy two months later, killing more than 3,000 people,” Reuters noted. 

La Repubblica reports that “At 9 o'clock, the abbot of the Chapel of San Gennaro, Monsignor De Gregorio, took the reliquary with the blood of the Patron Saint from the safe of the Chapel and brought it to the main altar of the Cathedral for the celebration of Mass. The reliquary was later returned to the Chapel after the blood remained dry with no miraculous liquefaction being observed. 

Traditionally, the failure of the miracle is taken as a bad omen, as when the miracle failed before the devastating eruption of Vesuvius in 1631. According to Radio Vatikan, when the miracle failed in 1980 “[t]he citizens of Naples associated this with the earthquake of Irpinia, when 2,900 people died in the worst natural disaster in Italian post-war history [i.e., since 1945]. Prior to that, it was in 1973 when Neapolitans waited in vain for the blood to liquefy. That year, Naples was visited by a cholera epidemic.” 

St. Januarius himself was a native of Naples, martyred during the bloody reign of Diocletian in the 4th century. A millennium later, in 1389, whilst a local priest was processing the relics around the cathedral in Naples, he witnessed the blood begin to liquefy and bubble. Since this time, the relics have been reported to miraculously liquefy on at least three specific dates each year, drawing numerous spectators and faithful. It has been noted that occasionally the blood will remain solid, usually preceding an “outbreak of disease, famine, war or political suppression,” according to Miracles of the Church 

The last time that the saintly blood did not become liquid was on December 16, 2016. 

A number of popes have venerated the relics over the centuries, most recently with Pope Francis visiting the Cathedral in Naples in March 2015. After Francis gave a blessing with the relic, Cardinal Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, noticed the blood partially liquefy. The last time the had miracle occurred with the blood in the presence of a pope was when Pius IX visited in 1848; the visits of both Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II did not result in the miraculous liquefaction. 

  catholic, coronavirus, pope francis, st. januarius

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