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Religion and cults

Palace falling sheer to the sea.

The most popular religious cults amongst the Neapolitan people are examined here, along with their relative portents and miracles.
San Gennaro is the most important of these, with the miraculous liquefying of his blood. However, the miracles associated with Saint Patrizia and the cult of the dead are also important.


The Miracles of San Gennaro

Saint Gennaro, bishop and martyr, was officially designated patron saint of Naples and Campania by Giovanni II in 1980. Saint Gennaro's real name was Ianuario. Not much is known about his origins. He was probably born in Naples of a middle-class family from the Gens Januaria. Once he became Bishop of Benevento, he went to the Campi Flegrei area to join in a service held by the Deacon of the Church of Miseno, Sossio. Under the Emperor Diocleziano, Christians had been more fiercely persecuted, and the Judge in Campania had ordered the arrest of Christians in the area including Sossio...

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The Miracles Of Saint Patrizia

Saint Gennaro's blood is not the only one to liquefy in Naples. Saint Patrizia is the other Patron Saint of Naples and her blood, which is kept in the monastery at San Gregorio Armeno, liquefies on 25 August every year (which is her Saint's day) and often on other occasions too. Saint Patrizia was the neice of Constantine the Great and was born in Constantinople in 350 A.D. She was brought up in the Imperial Court and educated as a Christian by a pious woman called Aglaia.

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The cult of the dead

In a city like Naples, where myth, legend and mystery blend together to form a heady mix, it was inevitable that a cult like that of the dead, such a sensitive yet macabre subject, would be taken to heart by the people. A walk down the busiest, narrowest streets in the heart of the city is enough to understand the depth of people's commitment and devotion. There are shrines, and tabernacles, with images of saints and photos of the deceased everywhere...

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