Tuesday, September 23, 2008

AND EVEN MORE NONSENSE

"Thousands of Neapolitans crowded into the city's cathedral on Friday to witness the miracle of Saint Gennaro -- whose dried blood is said to liquefy twice a year, 17 centuries after his death. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, announced the blood turned to liquid at 9:45 a.m. (8:45 a.m.) and the glass phial was paraded to crowds outside, who set off fireworks in celebration. "It (the saint's blood) is the seed of hope for all of us," Sepe said. Legend has it that when Gennaro was beheaded by pagan Romans in 305 A.D., a Neapolitan woman soaked up his blood with a sponge and preserved it in a glass phial. The substance usually turns to liquid twice a year - on September 19, the saint's feast day, and on the first Saturday in May. The miracle was only first recorded in 1389, more than 1,000 years after Gennaro's martyrdom. More scientifically minded sceptics say the "miracle" is due to chemicals present in the phial whose viscosity changes when it is stirred or moved." (Yahoo News, 22 September) RD

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