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Liquifaction of the blood of St. Januarius

 

St. Januarius is believed to have suffered martyrdom under Diocletian in 305. He was tortured and beheaded. His body was brought to Naples and buried in the church where his head is preserved and his holy blood is kept to this day in a glass phial. Whenever the phial is placed near his head it becomes liquid and bubbles up as though it was fresh. Miracles have followed this liquifaction of his blood.

The phial in which the blood is kept is about 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches high. It is approximately half full of a dark solid mass, absolutely opaque when held to the light, and this sold substance cannot be displaced when the phial is turned upside down.

Eighteen times each year on fixed days, a bust which contains the head of the saint is placed on the altar in the church, and the phial in brought out and held there in full view of the congregation. Prayers are offered and after an interval of varying duration, usually a few minutes, the mass of blood detaches itself from the sides of the glass, becomes liquid and of a ruby tint and in some instances to froth and bubble, increasing in volume.

Skeptical scientists have attributed various causes for the miracle and have experimented to no avail. In many cases, conversions followed. Heat is not an explanation. Liquifaction takes place just as readily at 60 degrees as at 77 degrees or higher. And it has been proven t be of greater weight at the time of liquifaction than when opaque. The best scientists for hundreds of years have failed to explain this miracle.

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