Patron saint of Naples, Italy
Feast day – September 19
Januarius, Bishop of Naples, is a martyr saint of the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. While no contemporary sources on his life are preserved, later sources and legends claim that he died during the Diocletianic Persecution, which ended with Diocletian's retirement in 305.
Januarius is the patron saint of Naples, where the faithful gather three times a year in Naples Cathedral to witness the alleged liquefaction of what is claimed to be a sample of his blood kept in a sealed glass ampoule.
Little is known of the life of Januarius, and what follows is mostly derived from later Christian sources, such as the Acta Bononensia (BHL 4132, not earlier than 6th century) and the Acta Vaticana (BHL 4115, 9th century), and from later-developing folk tradition. Now we know that he was born in Benevento. The earliest extant mention of him is contained in a 432 letter by Uranius, bishop of Nola, on the death of his mentor Saint Paulinus of Nola, where it is stated that the ghosts of Januarius and Saint Martin appeared to Paulinus three days before the latter's death in 431. About Januarius, the account says only that he was "bishop as well as martyr, an illustrious member of the Neapolitan church" The Acta Bononensia says that "At Pozzuoli in Campania [is honored the memory] of the holy martyrs Januarius, Bishop of Beneventum, Festus his deacon, and Desiderius lector, together with Sossius deacon of the church of Misenum, Proculus, deacon of Pozzuoli, Eutyches and Acutius, who after chains and imprisonment were beheaded under the Emperor Diocletian".
Sources for this article were taken from the following books, available at www.fatimashoppe.org.
O holy martyrs, and thou especially, O Januarius, the leader no less by the courage than by the pontifical dignity, your present glory increases our longing for Heaven; your past combats animate us to fight the good fight; your continual miracles confirm us in the faith. Praise and gratitude are therefore due to you on this day of your triumph; and we pay this our debt in the joy of our hearts. In return, extend to us the protection, of which the fortunate cities placed under your powerful patronage are so justly proud. Defend those faithful towns against the assaults of the evil one. In compensation for the falling away of society at large, offer to Christ our King the growing faith of all who pay you honor.
St. Januarius – Pray for us