The Blood of San Gennaro

On Saturday early I got a text message from a friend in Italy that, in Naples, San Gennaro’s blood did not liquify on one of the dates that it was… supposed to.

Now I see the story at La Stampa.

The blood of San Gennaro usually liquifies on 16 December, which is the anniversary of an eruption of Vesuvius in 1631.  When the blood doesn’t liquify, well… that isn’t taken well by the locals.  That’s because when it doesn’t bad things happen.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are tittering, “You are so superstitious with your Latin and your Vatican II hatred.  So, the blood didn’t liquify, as you call it – *snicker* – how bad could it be?  What sorts of things are you troglodytes think could happen?”

How bad?  What things? Things like earthquakes, colera epidemics, WWII, occupation by Nazis.  That sort of thing.


Il mancato miracolo è stato sempre legato a momenti nefasti della storia della città: nel settembre del ’39 e del ’40, date di inizio della seconda guerra mondiale e dell’entrata in guerra dell’Italia, nel settembre del ’43 durante l’inizio dell’occupazione nazista, nel ’73 invece Napoli fu colpita da un’epidemia di colera. Il 1980 invece è stato l’anno del tremendo terremoto in Irpinia.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Serviam says:

    I was just reading a bit about this phenomenon of liquefaction and apparently it sometimes occurs on days other than the usual three per year. It recently HALF liquefied in the presence of Pope Francis. The last time it liquefied in the presence of a pope was Pope Pius IX in 1840s. It did not liquefy in the presence of Pope John Paul II or Benedict XVI. Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?

    Also, thank you Father Z for the inspiring posts and podcasts. If you are getting weary of lifting up the downtrodden souls like myself, please don’t. I cherish all of them and they do help to keep fighting for God’s greater glory. I promise to keep you in my prayers:-)

  2. Liz says:

    Uh oh!

    We loved this church and San Gennaro when were there in 2013.

  3. APX says:

    So far today the Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead during a speech he was giving and there was another terrorist attack in France that ISIS claimed responsibility for. Coincidence??

  4. Gus Barbarigo says:

    The feast day for San Gennaro is the same as that of Our Lady of La Salette (Sept. 19). With the apocalyptic overtones associated with La Salette, and the centennial of Fatima approaching, I can’t see how this “omen” is anything less than a huge deal.

  5. WMBriggs says:

    Coincidentally, yesterday’s news from PhysOrg:

    Naples astride a rumbling mega-volcano

    A slumbering Campi Flegrei volcano under the Italian city of Naples shows signs of “reawakening” and may be nearing a critical pressure point, according to a study published Tuesday.

    Italian and French scientists have for the first time identified a threshold beyond which rising magma under the Earth’s surface could trigger the release of fluids and gases at a 10-fold increased rate…

    It is not possible at this time to say when—or if—the volcano will erupt anew, he said.

    If it did, however, “it would be very dangerous” for the half-million people living inside and near the caldera, he added, using the scientific name for the bowl-like depression created after a volcano blows its top…

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