Saints and Holy People

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Saint Januarius (d. 304)

Saint Januarius (d. 304)

Patron saint of blood banks, Naples, and volcanic eruptions

Feast day: September 19

Saint Januarius was born in Italy. He was the bishop of Benevento during Emperor Diocletion’s persecution of Christians. One day, Bishop Januarius went to visit two deacons and two laymen who were imprisoned. During his visit, he was also incarcerated. Januarius and his companions were flung to the wild beasts but were not attacked. Eventually they were beheaded.

It is believed that someone collected the blood of Bishop Januarius when he was martyred, and it is kept in Naples as a relic. The blood liquefies and bubbles when it is displayed in the cathedral. To this day, scientists have been unable to explain this miracle. 

(Image by Louis Finson, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)