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Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021

J-P Mauro - published on 05/04/21

St. Januarius' relics will be placed on display at Naples Cathedral until May 9.

The blood of martyred bishop St. Januarius I of Benevento has liquefied again in Naples. The triannual miraculous event came a day later than expected, on May 2, 2021. The last time it liquefied was in September, 2020.

The blood can be seen in a liquid state in the video featured above. The priest who is holding it repeatedly rotates the reliquary to demonstrate that the transformation had occurred. 

According to Catholic News Agency, the liquefaction traditionally occurs at three times per year: September 19, St. Januarius’ feast day; the first Saturday of May; and December 16, the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The last of these is the least common.

This miraculous occurrence has historically been a big draw for pilgrims to visit Naples. When the blood liquefies, it is seen as a good sign for Naples. Conversely, if the blood fails to liquefy, it could be taken as a sign of war, famine, or disease. In December, 2020, the blood failed to liquefy.

Procession canceled

This year, the blood reverted to a liquid state on the second day of prayer honoring St. Januarius. In a normal year, his relics would be the focal point of a procession leading from Naples Cathedral, where they are housed, to the Church of Santa Chiara. This year, however, the parade was canceled due to the world pandemic. 

Instead, the relics will be put on display at Naples Cathedral until May 9. Faithful are welcome to venerate the relics, so long as they follow pandemic guidelines

During Sunday Mass, before the blood liquefied, Archbishop Domenico Battaglia said of the miracle in his homily: 

“The blood of the martyrs is not a museum piece or a simple relic to be cherished but it is a living sign for the today that is given to us, a clear indication for this time that we are called to live, a prophecy of the way in which we must live and a clear reference to what is worth dying for.”

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