The Corner

Francis the Mystic

The Washington Post:

NAPLES, Italy — The faithful here are still talking about Pope Francis and the holy blood.

On an official trip to this ancient city in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, Pope Francis entered the local cathedral to pray to Januarius, the patron saint of Naples. Januarius’s 1,700-year-old dried blood is known to “spontaneously liquefy,” a phenomenon seen by true believers as a miraculous sign from above. Those gathered anxiously watched as Francis prayed before, then kissed, the ornate silver and glass reliquary containing the coagulated clot.

And lo and behold, the dark stain dissolved.

The cardinal of Naples, standing beside Francis, joyously heralded the sacred melting, bringing a round of gasps and applause. Then Francis himself acknowledged the mystery, in which the blood had only half liquefied. “It means the saint loves us halfway,” Francis said, according to accounts of those present that day five months ago. “We must all spread the word of God more, so that he loves us even more.”

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