Pope Francis performs 'half miracle' in Naples by turning blood into liquid

Pope Francis performed a "half miracle" in Naples.Reuters

Pope Francis has supposedly performed a "half miracle" during his visit to Naples Cathedral in Italy on Saturday by turning dry blood into liquid.

The vial of blood belonged to the Neapolitan patron St. Gennaro, who used to be the bishop of Naples. When Pope Francis prayed "Our Father" over it and kissed the relic, something strange happened, NBC News reports.

Archbishop of Naples Crescenzio Sepe deemed it a miracle and said: "The blood has half liquified, which shows that Saint Januarius loves our pope and Naples."

The ever-humble Pope Francis even joked about the incident and said, "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!"

St. Gennaro was beheaded during the time of Roman Emperor Diocletian in 305. At the time, it was common for Christians to collect the blood of martyrs and place it beside their corpse.

It was not the first time St. Gennaro's blood turned into liquid.  It reportedly liquified in the presence of Pope Pius IX back in 1848.

St. Gennaro devotees believe that the saint's miracle can occur three times a year, particularly on his feast day on September 19 if they pray hard enough, but skeptics believe that the "miracle" of turning dry blood to liquid is only because of the chemicals inside the vial that change whenever the vial is moved.

During his visit to Naples, Pope Francis shared his thoughts on temptation, which he considers similar to terrorism. He also shared his distaste for the mafia and corruption, and the pontiff touched on the topic of seminarians. He urged those in the seminary to be honest and evaluate their priorities to serve God.

"If Jesus is not central, postpone the ordination. If you are not sure that Jesus is the centre of your life, wait a little longer," he said.