JANUARIUS, ST., or SAN GENNARO, the patron saint of Naples. According to the legend, he was bishop of Benevento, and flourished towards the close of the 3rd century. On the outbreak of the persecution by Diocletian and Maximian, he was taken to Nola and brought before Timotheus, governor of Campania, on account of his profession of the Christian religion. After various assaults upon his constancy, he passed through a fiery furnace unharmed, was thrown, in vain, to the wild beasts, healed his judge of blindness, and was finally despatched, by the same ungrateful judge, by the sword. The relics of the saint were cherished by the Neapolitans as a safeguard against the eruptions of Vesuvius. The cult of St. Januarius, bishop and martyr, is attested historically at Naples as early as Le 5th century (Biblioth. liagiog. latina, No. 6558). Two phials pre served in the cathedral are believed to contain the blood of the martyr. The relic is shown twice a year—in May and September. On these occasions the substance contained in the phial liquefies, and the Neapolitans see in this phenomenon a supernatural mani festation. The "miracle of St. Januarius" did not occur before
the middle of the 15th century.
Other saints of the name of Januarius are the Roman martyr (festival July to), whose epitaph was written by Pope Damasus (De Rossi, Bullettino, p. 17, 1863), and the martyr of Cordova, who forms along with Faustus and Martialis the group designated by Prudentius (Peristephanon, iv. 2o) by the name of tres coronae. The festival of these martyrs is celebrated on Oct. 13.
See Acta sanctorum, September, vi. 761-891 ; G. Scherillo, Esame di un codice greco pubblicato nel tomo secondo della bibliotheca casinensis (Naples, 1876) ; G. Taglialatela, Memorie storico-critiche del culto del sangue di S. Gennaro (Naples, 1893) , which contains many facts, but little criticism ; G. Albini, Sulla mobility dei liquidi viscosi non omogenei (Societa reale di Napoli, Rendiconti, 2nd series, vol. iv., 189o) ; Acta sanctorum, October, vi. 187-193.