The miracle of the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius, a early fourth century martyr, took place on September 19, 2019 in Naples. It has been publicly reported that the blood liquefied shortly after 10 a.m.
The blood of the patron saint of the city liquefied during the pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, in the Cathedral of the Assumption. St. Januarius was bishop of Naples in the third century. Martyred during the Diocletian persecution, his bones and blood are preserved in the cathedral.
The liquefaction of the blood of the holy bishop occurs three times a year: September 19, his birthday, the Saturday before the first Sunday in May and December 16, anniversary of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1631.
During the miracle, the dried red-colored mass confined to the bottom of the reliquary becomes liquid blood that covers the entire glass. According to local tradition, if the miracle does not happen, it is a sign of a future catastrophe for the region.
On March 21, 2015, Pope Francis, on a visit to Naples, met priests, religious, and seminarians at the cathedral and gave a blessing with the relic. Cardinal Sepe then received the vial from the pope’s hands and noted that the blood had partially liquefied.
The last time the blood was completely liquefied in the presence of a pope was in 1848, when Pius IX visited the sanctuary.