St. Januarius, Bishop of Benevento
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Naples and Benevento both claim the honor of having given birth to Januarius; he is said to have been descended of the ancient family of the Sanniti, who had made war with the Romans, and were masters and dukes of Benevento. There are no historical records of the first years of St. Januarius, but it is certain that his parents were Christians, and that he was esteemed the most learned and pious of the clergy, for which reason he was unanimously chosen bishop of Benevento, upon a vacancy having occurred in that see. The humility of the saint induced him most resolutely to refuse that dignity, until he was obliged to accept it by a command from the Pope, who was at that time St. Caius, or St. Marcellinus.
Our saint undertook the government of his church during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian, which circumstance gave him noble opportunities of manifesting the extent of his zeal for the faith of Jesus Christ. Not content with propagating and maintaining the faith in his own diocese, he ran through the neighboring cities converting pagans, and assisting and encouraging the faithful. Continue reading