24 December 2016
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepeial holding the vial containing Saint Januarius' blood.
Photo Credit: Paola Magni
The vial containing the blood of Saint Januarius failed to liquefy. Just who is Saint Januarius, and why is this issue with his blood important? Here's the story, from Michael Talbot's Holographic Universe (p. 119-120):
"Every year in September and May a huge crowd gathers at the Duomo San Gennaro, the principal cathedral of Naples, to witness a miracle. The miracle involves a small vial containing a brown crusty substance alleged to be the blood of San Gennaro, or St. Januarius, who was beheaded by the Roman emperor Diocletian in A.D. 305. According to legend, after the saint was martyred a serving woman collected some of his blood as a relic. No one knows precisely what happened after that, save that the blood didn't turn up again until the end of the thirteenth century when it was ensconced in a silver reliquary in the cathedral.
"The miracle is that twice yearly, when the crowd shouts at the vial, the brown crusty substance changes into a bubbling, bright red liquid. There is little doubt that the liquid is real blood. in 1902 a group of scientists from the University of Naples made a spectroscopic analysis of the liquid by passing a beam of light through it, verifying that it was blood. Unfortunately, because the reliquary containing the blood is so old and fragile, the church will not allow it to be cracked open so that other tests can be done, and so the phenomenon has never been thoroughly studied.
"But there is further evidence that the transformation is a more than ordinary event. Occasionally throughout history (the first written account of the public performance of the miracle dates back to 1389) when the vial is brought out, the blood refuses to liquefy. Although rare, this is considered a very bad omen by the citizens of Naples. In the past, the failure of the miracle has directly preceded the eruption of Vesuvius and the Napoleonic invasion of Naples. More recently, in 1976 and 1978, it presaged the worst earthquake in Italian history and the election of a communist city government in Naples, respectively.
"Is the liquefaction of San Gennaro's blood a miracle? It appears to be, at least in the sense that it seems impossible to explain by known scientific laws." [emphasis added]
Skep-dicks have claimed the substance in the vial is a thixotropic gel containing iron oxide. Of course, they've produced bullshit stunts where they've created a similar substance that liquefies when shaken, but that's not proof of anything. A ventriloquist can reproduce the effect of voices coming out of a radio but that doesn't mean that radios are fake. Just because an effect can be reproduced through other means doesn't in any way indicate that those are the only means of producing the effect. There are many ways to produce powered flight, and there are many different types of light bulb, and all sorts of other phenomena can be produced in different ways. Magicians reproducing psychic phenomena does not in the least prove, or even provide evidence that psychic phenomena are fake. It's a confidence trick designed to subvert the rational mind.
From Live Science:
"The blood did not liquefy in 1939, when World War II broke out, nor in 1943, the year the Nazi occupied Italy, nor in 1973, remembered for a bout of cholera in Naples. Most recently, it failed to liquefy in 1980, when a devastating earthquake struck Irpinia, some 30 miles east of Naples, leaving more than 2,400 people dead.
"According to the website storiacity.it, over the centuries the failed miracle coincided with 22 epidemics, 11 revolutions, three droughts, 14 archbishops death (within a 30-day period), nine dead popes (over a period of a few weeks), four wars, 19 earthquakes, and three religious persecutions."
The blood failed to liquefy again on the 16th of December this year. Every time the blood has failed to liquefy there has been some disaster.
That could mean one of two things:
1. The liquefaction of the blood is a genuine miracle and failure to liquefy really does portend bad omens.
2a. The liquefaction of the blood is a psychic phenomena involving the collective consciousness of the people of Naples to see into the future and predict when calamities are about to occur.
2b. The blood is fake but unconscious precognition is still involved. Either the priests and other church officials psychically sense the future and purposefully do some trick to keep the fake substance a solid to warn the public, or the collective consciousness of the people of Naples keeps the fake substance a solid because of unconscious precognition.
The skep-dicks have no legs to stand on. The failure of the substance to liquefy has always coincided with disasters. It doesn't matter what is in the vial, blood or iron oxide gel, either a miracle or psychic powers are involved, because no matter what's in the vial, the substance itself or the people around it are still able to predict the future, something materialism says is impossible.
What does that mean for 2017? Let me just say that if I had any travel plans for Naples I would cancel them.