Januarius as he is better known, was born in Italy and was bishop of
Benevento during the Emperor Diocletion persecution. He is also the patron
saint of Naples in Italy. Bishop Januarius went
to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He was then also imprisoned
along with his deacon and lector. They were thrown to the wild beasts, but
when the animals did not attack them, they were beheaded. What is believed
to be Januarius' blood is kept in Naples, as a relic. It liquefies and
bubbles when exposed in the cathedral.
St. Januarius lived and died around 305 A.D.
and his feast day is September 19th, the same day that his blood is said
to liquefy. The same is also said to happen on the first Saturday in
May. Whenever the blood fails to liquefy the local people believe
that disaster looms. Thixotropy
is sometimes offered as an explanation for the phenomenon of blood that
liquefies. Indeed some scientists have made their own "blood" that
congealed and liquefied. it was done using chalk, hydrated iron chloride and salt water.
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