The flowing blood of the saints

Yesterday, thousands of folks were gathered in Naples celebrating their patron, St. Januarius, on his feast day.

Januarius died in 305 after suffering a martyr’s death during the persecution of Diocletian.

After his martyrdom, someone collected a vial of his blood. It has been preserved to this day.

Naturally, the blood hardened shortly after his death.

But a strange thing has happened each year on his feast day: his blood liquefies.

When this liquefaction takes place, the priest or bishop says these words to the giant crowd gathered around: “The miracle has happened.” Everyone cheers and soon after sings the Te Deum.

When the day is over, the blood hardens again.

By George it happened again yesterday!

Scientists have worked long hours trying to understand the phenomenon.

What a beautiful reminder that the saints are alive and very much a part of the living Church that is in the business of giving life–here and eternal!

An interesting pracitce

The Bonseki is a miniature Japanese rock garden.

The Zen Buddhists believe that by contemplating the Bonseki’s tiny, symbolic landscape they can achieve greater understanding of the larger world and attain a greater sense of peace.

This Wikipedia entry quotes one group of Buddhists who engage in this practice: “The importance of Bonseki is the peaceful feeling and satisfaction you derive from creating a Bonseki scene and not the result of the work.”

An interesting practice.