Sunday, September 30, 2012

Make It Happen, Lord

I was invited to witness the The Miracle of San Gennaro and had the privilege of standing very near to the Archbishop as the miracle was repeated when the blood of Naples' patron saint liquefied.A huge crowd of faithful, who had been pouring into the city's cathedral and the square outside from the early hours of the day, greeted the announcement of the miracle recurrence with warm applause. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, held up a phial containing the blood of the 3rd-century saint. For religious and superstitious Neapolitans, the ritual's success is a good omen for the city.

The miracle takes place on the anniversary of the martyrdom of San Gennaro in September 305 AD. The dried blood of the saint is preserved in two glass phials and traditionally liquefies three times a year. The liquefaction process sometimes takes hours, even days, and on occasions fails to happen at all. When the miracle does not occur it is seen as a sign of impending disaster. In fact, disaster has struck on at least five occasions when the blood failed to liquefy.

A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of the phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon. Some sceptics believe it is due to the shaking of the containers or the penetration of warmth from the holder's hands.

Sceptic that I was I walked away a true believer. No way it could have been done by the Archbishop’s hand. It was not a warm day; and one can shake dried blood all day and ever see the blood begin to flow!

Purpose of this blog? I am offering prayers for St Gennaro's intercession that, as Naples was relieved of many disasters, we too might be relieved of the horrors of our present US government. We cannot take another four years!

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