So the blood of San Gennaro (or Saint Januarius, as he is often called in the English-speaking world) liquefied yesterday in the presence of Pope Francis, during his visit to Naples. I have to admit, I’m a bit of an enthusiast for the annual San Gennaro miracle. I check every September 19 for the news that the miracle has happened again, and then typically point it out to my family, our RCIA people, etc. (Though I guess if I were more of an enthusiast, I’d have been aware that it also happens on two other dates annually, as the article linked to above points out.)
Such a miracle is something that more traditionally-minded folks (rightly) dig. It’s all about saints and relics and miracles and yeah, surely a bit of Catholic triumphalism, the stuff that more progressive Catholics often turn up their noses at, right? And now, this time, throw in the very presence of the Holy Father as the instigating event of the miracle, and wow, what a Catholic package.
So my fun little theory this morning is this: By this remarkable miracle, the Lord is telling our traditionalist brothers and sisters to lay off His Pope and get with the (very orthodox, very Catholic, and very challenging) program that he is laying out for us these past two years. Enough, says the Lord, with the silly “Can a Pope Be a Heretic?” stuff, the stupid “dark and false church” stuff. The question is: is our Catholic faith strong enough, are we bold enough, to allow him to form us into a better, stronger, more truly Catholic Church?