Saint Januarius († 305)

Bishop of Beneventum, Martyr

Patronage: blood banks; Naples; volcanic eruptions
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Many centuries ago, Saint Januarius died for the Faith during the persecution of Diocletian. God, through the blood which His servant shed for Him, some of which is conserved in Naples, continues to strengthen the faith of the Church, and to work there a regular miracle by its means.
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This beloved Saint of the late third century was the bishop of Beneventum, and had a friend, a deacon named Sosius, who like himself was occupied with fortifying the Christians faced with martyrdom. When the prefect of Pouzzoles, where Sosius had been imprisoned, heard that Januarius was coming to visit him and three other fervent Christians being held there, he had him arrested. He urged him to cease his exhortations, forbidden by the imperial edicts, and to offer incense to the idols, if he wanted to avoid torture. The holy bishop replied that he could not do so. He was submitted to torments, the first one of which left him miraculously uninjured. The judge attributed the miracle to magic, as was often said of the Christians whom God chose to spare. He ordered another torture which left the bishop lame, before he was sent to the same prison as the others.
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When two ecclesiastics of Benevent came to visit the confessors, they were arrested and condemned to die with the other five in an amphitheater, by the teeth of wild beasts. The animals, furious when released into the space where the seven Confessors stood, came and quietly lay down at their feet, renewing a miracle seen more than once in the history of the first centuries. By this prodigy and other miracles which preceded their execution, five thousand persons were converted. The bishop and his companions were decapitated on September 19, 305. A church was built on a nearby mountain to honor the memory of Saint Januarius.
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Little did the heathen governor think, when he condemned them, that he would be the instrument in God’s hand for ushering in a long succession of miracles which commemorate the faith and attest the sanctity of Januarius. His relics repose in the cathedral of Naples, and it is there that the liquefaction of his blood occurs. The blood is congealed in two glass vials, but when it is brought near the martyr’s head, it melts and flows like the blood of a living man. This ordinarily occurs on his feast day celebrated on September 17th in Naples, and on anniversaries of miracles attributed to him, which have preserved the city from eruptions of Mount Vesuvius or the plague. Some have tried to explain this miracle by natural causes, but none have ever contested the reality of the facts.
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Prayer to Venerate Any Saint 
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Saint Januarius: Feast Day September 19
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I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 
(1 Timothy 2:1-4)
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And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel. 
(Rev. 8:3-4)
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ETERNAL Father, I wish to honor St. (Name), and I give Thee thanks for all the graces Thou has bestowed upon him (her). I ask Thee to please increase grace in my soul through the merits of this saint, and I commit the end of my life to him (her) by this special prayer, so that by virtue of Thy goodness and promise, St. (Name) might be my advocate and provide whatever is needed at that hour. Amen.
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PROMISE: “When you wish to honor any particular saint and give Me thanks for all the graces I have bestowed on that saint, I increase grace in your soul through the merits of that saint. When you commit the end of your life to any of the saints by special prayers, I appoint those saints to be your advocates and to provide whatever you need at that hour.”-Our Lord to St. Gertrude
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Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich revealed in her Visions that saints are particularly powerful on their feast days and should be invoked then.

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