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A modern dictionary of 5,679 Catholic terms (including abbreviations), both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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Term

BLOOD OF ST. JANUARIUS

Definition

A famous relic in the Cathedral of Naples. The blood of this martyr (d. about 305), preserved in a glass phial, liquifies some eighteen times each year when the reliquary is exposed and placed near the saint's head. No natural explanation has been found for the phenomenon.