This Church In Naples Erupting When The Archbishop Presents The Liquified Blood Of San Gennaro Is Nuts

That sudden boom from the crowd is up there with the crowd losing it when Bird stole the inbounds pass or when Tiger sunk that put to win his comeback Masters with his son there in 2019.

(what an amazing moment. still gives you chills.)

I will fully admit that we do some pretty strange shit as Roman Catholics. All religions have weird traditions and customs, but Catholics take it to a whole other level. 

Like forcing you to go to "marriage lessons" for advice and tutoring, before you're allowed to get married by them, with a man who isn't allowed to be married himself, by them, and in fact can't even have a girlfriend. 

Or still believing that the largest size-wise and value-wise land-owning entity in the world should be exempt from taxes. Stuff like that.

We also have devout faith in a lot of strange events, people, and things as well. 

Take for instance the long-running tradition of celebrating of "La Festa di San Gennaro" or The Feast of San Gennaro. Which is an 8-day-long celebration leading up to the real celebration- the one that took place this morning, and takes place the morning of every September 19th in Napoli, Italy. 

The liquefying of San Gennaro's blood.

TS- San Gennaro, the Bishop of Benevento and martyr who was persecuted for being a Christian and finally beheaded in 305 AD, is the most important patron saint of Naples. Inside the Cathedral or Duomo, the Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro is decorated with Baroque frescoes and other artworks. Most importantly it holds the saint's relics, including two sealed vials of his coagulated blood housed in a silver reliquary. According to legend, some of his blood was collected by a woman who took it to Naples, where it liquefied eight days later.

On the morning of September 19, thousands of people fill the Duomo and Piazza del Duomo, the square in front of it, hoping to see the saint's blood liquefy in what's known as the miracle of San Gennaro. In a solemn religious ceremony, the Cardinal removes the vials of blood from the chapel, and takes them in a procession, along with a bust of San Gennaro, to the cathedral's high altar.

The crowd watches anxiously to see if the blood miraculously liquefies, believed to be a sign that San Gennaro has blessed the city. It is thought to be a bad omen if it doesn't. If the blood liquefies – which it usually does – the church bells ring, and the Cardinal takes the liquefied blood through the cathedral and out into the square so everyone can see it. Then he returns the reliquary to the altar where the vials remain on display for eight days. 

So yah. There's this 1,300-year-old blood in a couple of vials that are coagulated for what seems to be eternity. Except for on September 19th of every year.

On this day, in San Gennaro's home of Naples, the Archibishop is able to tilt the vials back and forth and the blood liquefies. 

Impressive, I know. 

It's just like Puxatony Phil and Groundhog day, except more Catholic.

While the Catholic Church does not take an official stance of the verity of the miracle, scientists contend that the glass vials of dried blood also contain a special gel that liquefies when moved. Whatever the case may be, the miracle of the liquefied blood has been recorded since the late 1300s, when the cult of San Gennaro began to take hold.

For faithful Neopolitans, the miracle is a sign that San Gennaro loves the city and its people, and will protect them. It's typical for women to spend the day and night before the festival in the church, praying to the saint and urging him (and his blood) to perform his miracle the next day. Even if you don't believe in saints or miracles, the devotion with which everyday Neopolitans regard San Gennaro and his relics are moving and profound.

(Fun fact - San Gennaro was martyred during the persecution of Roman emperor Diocletian. From the year 303 to 311, at the urging of the caesar Galerius, Diocletian began the last major persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, resulting in the destruction of churches and the torture and execution of Christians who refused to sacrifice to and recognize the Roman gods.)

This day is a HUGE deal in Napoli. Nobody works, kids don't have school, and as you can see, people lose their minds when this blood starts splashing around.


We also celebrate it in America, but not on this level.

New York City's parade was featured in the famous scene in The Godfather, when Vito stalks, and kills Don Fanucci. 

Today, instead of 3 piece suits, and collared shirts you've got a bunch of greaseballs strutting around in wife-beaters, with backward Yankee caps, and the only thing more exaggerated than their steroid use, is their accents.

p.s. - Boston's San Gennaro fest blows New York's out of the water.

p.p.s. - two of my favorite rants on religion all time from two of the greatest to ever do it -