The miracle of St. Januarius did take place this year on May 2, 2020: a happy omen for the Neapolitans, while the rest of the Italian peninsula was badly hit by the coronavirus epidemic.
Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, Msgr. Crescenzio Sepe, declared on May 2, 2020: “Dear friends, I have an important announcement to communicate to you: even in this period marked by the coronavirus epidemic, the blood of St. Januarius was liquefied by the intervention of the Lord.”
On the same day, during the Mass celebrated in his empty cathedral—per the confinement requirements—and broadcast live via the peninsula’s media, he explained in his homily: “We can no longer count the number of times the saint has intervened to save us from the plague, from cholera. In a word, St. Januarius is the soul of Naples.” Then he blessed the city with the ampulla containing the liquefied blood.
St. Januarius—San Gennaro in Italian—bishop and patron of Naples, lived in the third century and suffered martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution. His relics are kept in the metropolitan church.
The miracle of the liquefaction of his blood generally occurs three times a year: on September 19, the liturgical feast of the saint; the Saturday before the first Sunday in May; and December 16, the day when the Neapolitan city commemorates the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, occurring in 1631.
As soon as the miracle occurs, the dried, reddish mass, confined to one side of the reliquary, becomes liquid, and then covers the entire glass wall.
Local tradition reports that when the miracle does not happen, a disaster will take place in the city. So while the Neapolitans are relieved by the kindly regards their patron saint sent them on May 2, 2020, a large part of Italy continues to bury its dead, victims of the Covid-19 coronavirus.