St. Januarius Bishop and Martyr September 19

St. Januarius, who’s blood is in a glass vial in Naples, liquefies each year on his feast day Sept. 19.  This miracle happens as the vial of the saint’s blood is brought close to the bust containing his head.  This is done as the people pray and every year when the blood liquifies, the Cardinal of Naples says “The miracle has happened.”  This causes great joy and they then all chant the Te Deum.

“At that time time the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian were furiously raging against Christians, Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, was taken to Nola, to Timothy, President of Campania, on the charge of professing the Christian faith. There his firmness was tried divers ways, and he was cast into a burning fiery furnace, but came forth thence unhurt, for neither upon his raiment nor upon the hairs of his head did the flame take any hold. Thereupon the wrath of the President was enkindled, and he commanded the martyr to be torn limb from limb. But in the meanwhile Januarius’ Deacon Festus and his Reader Desiderius were taken, and the whole three were led in bonds to Puzzuoli in front of the President’s carriage, and there thrown into the same prison wherein were already held four other Christians condemned to be devoured by wild beasts, that is to say, Sosius, a Deacon of Miseno Proculus, a Deacon of Puzzuoli and two laymen, named respectively Eutyches and Acutius.

355The next day all seven were exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre, but these creatures forgot their natural fierceness, and lay down at the feet of Januarius. Timothy would have it that this came from charms, and commanded the witnesses of Christ to be beheaded. Thereupon he became of a sudden blind, until Januarius had prayed for him by the which miracle nearly five thousand persons were turned to Christ. But this good turn roused up no gratitude in the President, yea, rather, the conversion of so many drave him wild, and in his hot fear to obey the decrees of the Emperors he commanded that the holy Bishop and his companions should be smitten with the sword.

st-januarius-miracleThe cities of those coasts strove to obtain their bodies for honourable burial, so as to make sure of having in them advocates with God. By God’s will the reliques of Januarius were taken to Naples at last, after having been carried from Puzzuoli to Benevento, and from Benevento to Monte Vergine when they were brought thence to Naples, they were laid in the chief Church there, and there have been famous on account of many miracles. Among these is remarkable the stopping of eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, whereby both that neighbourhood and also places afar off have been like to have been brought to desolation. It is also well known, and is the plain fact, seen even today.”  1910 Breviary