Stabat Mater Menevia

Stabat Mater Menevia
We praise you O Lord and we bless you, for by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world

Friday, 5 October 2012

St Januarius

Reproduced by kind permission of Dylan Parry - A Reluctant Sinner blog

The Miracle of St Januarius' Blood reminds me both of the joy of my own Baptism as well as the Miracle of the Altar

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples
(c) Sannita
Published under a Creative Commons licence
(source: Wikimedia Commons)
On 17 October, St Ignatius of Antioch's Day in the post-Conciliar Calendar, I hope to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my baptism and entry in the Catholic Church. So, I hope it will please Almighty God, the Father of all, to grant me the grace to see that day!

Strangely, it feels as if I have been a Catholic for about 60 years, even though I am only 36-years-old! Yet, in another sense the past two decades also seem to have flown by. In fact, I often think I'm still just a young student! (Obviously, I have not yet grown up properly!)

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the men responsible for my conversion to the Catholic faith was the current Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe. I will remain eternally grateful to him for the kind letter he sent me all those years ago, which convinced me that God wanted me to know Him and love Him in the only way that satisfies, as a member of His Holy Church.

One day, I hope to get to Naples for the Feast of St Januarius, the martyr-bishop who is the city's patron. His feast is kept on 19 September (today), which also happens to be my best friend's birthday. Who knows, if I do ever get to Italy's ancient 'new city' for Januarius' feast, I might also finally get to meet Cardinal Sepe at the same time?

A well known 'miracle' occurs on St Januarius' Day -- namely, the liquefaction of the fourth century martyr's congealed blood, a relic that is regarded as Naples' most important treasure. The liquefaction only occurs, as far as I know, at the hands of the city's Archbishop -- Januarius' successor.

Sadly, it seems that -- bar God granting me the miracle of bilocation! -- I will not be able to get to Naples today, for the Feast of  St Januarius and the miracle of his blood. But, as the above video points out, a far greater miracle is happening right now somewhere in the world, the Eucharistic miracle; and we Catholics are privileged to share in it in the most intimate way possible!

Happy St Januarius' Day!

St Januarius, pray for us.