lunedì 14 febbraio 2011

The Treasure of San Gennaro

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment the most precious jewels existing. What are you thinking for? The English Crown jewels? To those of the Tsar of Russia? Error! The greatest treasure existing in the world is here in Naples: The Treasure of San Gennaro!! His pieces are so valuable that it was never made an estimate in monetary terms.


Now for the first time all the jewels will be exhibited in all the city museums on the occasion of “May of Monuments 2011”.

Who is San Gennaro? According to the Vatican Council of 1964 is a "second class Saint; his name, in fact, is among those abolished by the Roman liturgical calendar. This "snub", rather than diminish the cult of the saint, led Napoli to be closer to him. In that year have appeared everywhere in the city's written like " San Genna, futtetenne " or " San Gennaro, don’t give a damn " .

But how can the bishop of a small village like Benevento becoming a so popular saint? Simple: with its miracles!! The best-known is the one of the liquefaction of his blood that regularly happens three times a year :the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, September 19th (the day of San Gennaro) and December 16th, but many other were the miracles that bind San Gennaro to Naples. In 1527 three scourges hit Naples: the war between France and Spain, the eruption of Vesuvius with the consequent earthquakes and pestilence. The Neapolitan people, not knowing how to face these misfortunes, decided to vow to the saint: if all the misfortunes for the city had ended they would have build a chapel in the cathedral where keeping his treasure… the treasures of San Gennaro. The agreement was certified by notarial act. Obviously San Gennaro made the miracle and Naples was safe. It was then built what is now known as the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro.

Whose treasure is this? Seeing it in the Cathedral most people would think that belongs to the Curia. Definitely not! The treasure belongs to Naples and its citizens. This is perhaps the reason that made sure that over the years no one ever tried to steal it. Only in 1947, following the bombing, the Curia at the Vatican moved the precious with the pretext to keep them in a safer place. It was thanks to the intervention of a member of the Camorra of that period known as the "king of Poggioreale" that the prelates decided to return the stolen goods to the city.

So if you need a miracle and you have nobody to ask it for remember that San Gennaro is always there ready to fulfill the wishes of you all ... better if the Neapolitans.

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