Thought for the Day – 19 September – The Memorial of St Januarius – Martyr (Died c 304)
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.
Little did the heathen governor think that he was the instrument in 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.
St Alphonsus Liguori wrote regarding Saint Januarius:
“The Neapolitans honour this saint as the principal patron of their city and nation and the Lord Himself has continued to honour him, by allowing many miracles to be wrought through his intercession, particularly when the frightful eruptions of Mount Vesuvius have threatened the city of Naples with utter destruction. While the relics of St Januarius were being brought in procession towards this terrific volcano, the torrents of lava and liquid fire which it emitted have ceased, or turned their course from the city. But the most stupendous miracle and that which is greatly celebrated in the church, is the liquefying and boiling up of this blessed martyr’s blood whenever the vials are brought in sight of his head. This miracle is renewed many times in the year, in presence of all who desire to witness it; yet some heretics have endeavoured to throw a doubt upon its genuineness, by frivolous and incoherent explanations but no one can deny the effect to be miraculous, unless he be prepared to question the evidence of his senses.”
Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Sometimes, that blood is bubbling.