Monday, September 19, 2005

Miracle of San Gennaro Repeated

Today is the feast of Saint Janarius -- or San Gennaro -- the patron saint of Naples. I knew little, if anything, about the martyr until Mass today, where, among other things, I learned that his blood, indeed, miraculously liquified today.

There is, of course, no obligation to believe in the miracle of San Gennaro's blood. As the article indicates, some people believe that the liquification occurs due to shaking the vial containing it, or by the warmth of the holder's hands.

(Maybe so, but it'd be kinda tough, I'm thinking, to keep up the farce for hundreds of years.
And, on the other hand, scientists have examined the vial's contents, have determined that it is, indeed, blood, and are at a loss to explain why it liquifies on certain days...and on other days, it does not.)

If the liquification is, indeed, a miracle, what does that mean to us? Why does the Lord allow such things?

I don't know. I doubt very seriously that what occurred in Naples today would move a staunch atheist into sudden conversion.

And I would hope that, were the miracles to simply stop, that the people of Naples would not lose their faith.

Maybe that's all it's really about: faith. For me, the event at Naples only seems to remind me that my faith isn't really my faith -- it's a gift from God to me. And that for the good of my soul, it seems sensible to pray that it increases. "Lord, I do me in my unbelief."

Saint Januarius, bishop and martyr: pray for us.