Friday, 19 September 2014

San Gennaro (St. Januarius)

"Many centuries ago, St. Januarius died for the Faith in the persecution of Diocletian, and to this day God
confirms the Faith of His Church, and works a continual miracle, through the blood which Januarius shed for Him.

The saint was Bishop of Beneventum, and on one occasion he travelled to Misenum in order to visit a deacon named Sosius. During this visit Januarius saw the head of Sosius, who was singing the gospel in the church, girt with flames, and took this for a sign that ere long Sosius would wear the crown of martyrdom. So it proved.

Shortly after Sosius was arrested and thrown into prison. There St. Januarius visited and encouraged him, till the bishop also was arrested in turn.

Soon the number of confessors was swollen by some of the neighbouring clergy. They were exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. The beasts, however, did them no harm; and at last the Governor of Campania ordered the saints to be beheaded.

Little did the heathen governor think he was the instrument of God's hand of ushering in the long succession of miracles which attest the faith of Januarius.

The relics of St. Januarius rest in the cathedral of Naples, and it is there that the liquefaction of his blood occurs. The blood is congealed in two glass vials, but when it is brought near the martyr's head it melts and flows like the blood of a living man".

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