The blood of a Patron Saint killed in 305 AD partially liquified in the presence of Pope Francis on Saturday, with some claiming it a sign of a "half-miracle".
The normally-solid relic was kissed by his holiness during a visit to Naples.
Crescenzio Sepe, the city's Archbishop, said: "The blood has half liquified, which shows that Saint Januarius loves our pope and Naples."
But Pope Francis appeared to play down the event by saying: "The bishop just announced that the blood half-liquified. We can see the saint only half loves us.
"We must all spread the word, so that he loves us more!"
The blood is said to be that of Roman bishop, Januarius, who was decapitated in 305 AD during emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians.
Thousands of faithful attend special services three times a year in Naples where the blood is said to liquify. Some even claim the volume of the blood increases during these services.
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The ceremonies are eagerly anticipated as it is said if it fails to turn into a fluid then a catastrophe will follow.
This occured in 1527 and 1528 and was followed by the plague. In 1559 famine came and in 1833 cholera ravaged Naples
During World War II the event was proceeded by bombing raids by Allied aircraft in 1944
Sceptics claim it is simply the motion of moving the normally-static ampoule containing the blood that turns it to liquid.
The transformation of the blood is not recognised by the church as being a miracle.Suggest a correction