Naples, Italy. The name “Naples” comes from Neapolis, Greek for ‘new town.’ It was a new town—five hundred years before Christ.
Saints Peter and Paul both preached there. Two centuries later, the Emperor Diocletian wrought the Great Persecution. He not only prohibited all Christian practices, he also required that Christians perform pagan rites. If you refused? The death penalty.
Bishop St. Januarius presided over the church in the inland town of Benevento. During the persecution, he traveled incognito to the Bay of Naples. He went to visit a deacon who had been imprisoned. When Januarius came to visit, they threw him in jail, too.
The Roman governor of the province of Campania tried to feed them to the lions, but the lions wouldn’t eat them. So he had them beheaded.
A Christian woman preserved some of the blood that spilled when they beheaded St. Januarius. In the duomo in Naples, they preserve the blood in a vial. (Your unworthy servant prayed there for you in July.)
On the anniversary of the saint’s martyrdom, the blood in the vial miraculously liquefies. Then the Archbishop carries the vial out in front of the altar for the people to see. Everyone cheers, because they take it as a sign of divine favor toward the city.
It happened this morning, praise God. (Though the Cardinal Arcbhishop had a fainting spell during the ceremony. May God be with him.)
God does indeed favor the city of Naples, as you can tell by the gelato. May His merciful kindness favor us all.
From the Scandal File:
I apparently started a little trend, writing an open letter to Theodore McCarrick.
Father Gerald Murray of New York has now written one, too. It’s a doozy. Amen, brother.