02-07-2019

Cardinal of Naples hands St Januarius' relics over to UGCC

On June 28, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, transferred to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church a piece of the relics of St. Januarius, the most revered patron saint of the local population, a martyr of the 4th century. It is reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.

“Donation of St. Januarius' relics to the UGCC is a sign of the proximity of the Church of Naples to the entire Ukrainian people and our solidarity in this difficult time of trials that you have to overcome," Cardinal Sepe stressed in his welcoming speech. He recalled the visit of his Beatitude Svyatoslav to Naples on November 18 last year, namely – the miracle of the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januariaus, which took place on this day at the end of the memorial service for the victims of the Holodomor. "This event brought spiritual exaltation for our faithful and was recorded in the history of the miracles of the blood of St. Januarius,” said the Archbishop of Naples. He also asked about the situation in Ukraine and assured of his prayers for the end of the war in the east of the country.

On behalf of His Beatitude Svyatoslav, the chief of the Secretariat of the Primate of the UGCC in Rome, Fr Andriy Soletsky expressed his gratitude to the cardinal for the "valuable gift that the Church of Naples shared with the UGCC" and presented a photo album "Persecuted for the truth" which talks about the catacomb period of the UGCC during the Soviet Union.

St. Januarius was a bishop who suffered martyrdom around 305 A.D. (he was beheaded). The Christians of Naples took the body of the saint, and his dried blood was collected from the ground into a vessel. Numerous miracles have happened on his grave throughout the centuries. The local population believes that the miracle of liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius is a sign that he protects their city and listens to their prayers. "The miracle of the blood of St. Januarius" is a challenge to modern science. The blood of the saint froze as early as 4th century and several times a year turns into liquid state. The Neapolitan saint is revered by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. A piece of the bone from the saint's relics was transferred to UGCC.

www.risu.org.ua

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