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This is the last weekend for the 87th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, which wraps up on Sunday. Last night, we took these photos of the crowds, the food and the carnival games on Mulberry Street, as well as the procession featuring the Statue of San Gennaro and the interior of the Church of the Most Precious Blood. Yesterday, September 19th, was the day of the saint’s martyrdom in the 4th century and thus the procession and the miracle. We were told that at 9:30am in Naples, where his body is preserved and he is honored as the city’s principal patron, the blood of San Gennaro liquefied.

According to a pamphlet at the Shrine of San Gennaro on Baxter Street

The blood of Saint Gennaro is contained in two glass phials of different shapes and sizes. Both phials are perfectly sealed and are enclosed in a metal case which permits them to be exposed to view. The blood in the larger phial reaches about the halfway mark; in the smaller container only a few drops are seen adhering to the bottom.

And the prodigy? This martyr’s blood, which is normally solidified and of a dark color, occasionally becomes liquid and reddish, sometimes frothing, bubbling up, and increasing in volume. This usually occurs twice a year: on the first Sunday of May, the feast of the transfer of the saint’s relics; also on September 19, the anniversary of the martyrdom

Time Magazine lists the Blood of San Gennaro among the Top 10 religious relics. Belief in the miracle has continued because in years when the blood failed to liquefy, catastrophe struck: the plague of 1527, an earthquake in 1980 and even the defeat of the Napoli soccer club.

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