San Gennaro and the saints process through Naples, Italy

My Africa interlude is finished for now. This piece was written in May 2016, a few days after I’d followed the annual procession of saints through the old streets of Naples, Italy. It was an unforgettable day.

The Phraser

San Gennaro under escort through Naples, Italy San Gennaro, his blood, and the saints process under escort through Naples, Italy

In Naples the less usual is everywhere.

A few weeks ago it was San Gennaro, his blood, and a selection of saints, who added the extraordinary as they were carried shoulder high in procession through the city’s streets from the cathedral to the church of Santa Chiara.

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Italy: Naples raises its voice to defend its rights over San Gennaro

I wrote this piece in March 2016. It gives the history of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, and covers the storm that raged over the threat to the city’s custody of the saint.

The Phraser

Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy

A threat has been made to the heart of an old city, to a unique relationship between the people and their saint.  The partnership has lasted through centuries of invasion, violence, disease and volcanic turbulence … but now bureaucracy wants its say.

The challenge is to the arrangements in place for the care of the patron saint of Naples, San Gennaro, and his glittering collection of treasure.

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The shadow of San Gennaro – Naples, Italy

San Gennaro and his ostensorium in the cathedral of Naples, Italy on 19 September 2016

San Gennaro and his ostensorium in the cathedral of Naples, Italy on 19 September 2016

The liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro, an event known as ‘il prodigio‘, happens three times a year in Naples, Italy … at least it should.  This December on the last, and least high profile, of these occasions for 2016, San Gennaro’s blood did not liquefy.

There are many in Naples who will see this as an ominous sign for the city.

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San Gennaro and the saints process through Naples, Italy

San Gennaro under escort through Naples, Italy

San Gennaro, his blood, and the saints process under escort through Naples, Italy

In Naples the less usual is everywhere.

A few weeks ago it was San Gennaro, his blood, and a selection of saints, who added the extraordinary as they were carried shoulder high in procession through the city’s streets from the cathedral to the church of Santa Chiara.

Continue reading

Italy: Naples raises its voice to defend its rights over San Gennaro

Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy

Mural of San Gennaro near the Duomo in Naples, Italy

A threat has been made to the heart of an old city, to a unique relationship between the people and their saint.  The partnership has lasted through centuries of invasion, violence, disease and volcanic turbulence … but now bureaucracy wants its say.

The challenge is to the arrangements in place for the care of the patron saint of Naples, San Gennaro, and his glittering collection of treasure.

Continue reading