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St.Mary's Church  


t.Lawrence Martyr blood

 Origin of the relic - The act of the consecration of St. Mary church

The ampulla of St. Lawrence blood is preserved in St. Mary's Church.
The relic consists of: blood mixed with fat, cinders and a fragment of skin (50 grams).
The blood is coagulated during all the year. On august 10th and sometimes in some other special occasions, the blood melts, becoming liquid again.

ature of the substance contained in the ampulla

The nature of the substance in the ampulla was thoroughly investigated during the years.
Dr. Clinio Silvestri (1849 -1900) in his "Monography about St. Lawrence reliquiary in Amaseno" explains all the analysis he made which confirmed the authenticity of the blood.
He studied the relic for about 30 years , during the phase of liquefaction when it is easier to observe the various elements that constitute it.
But how can we be sure that the blood really belongs to the St. Lawrence? Thanks to the old documents and manuscripts in which the relic is always named of St. Lawrence. In old  documents preceding 1600 it is mentioned as de pinguedine delle grassecze dell'onto , dell'adipe that is St. Lawrence  fat and nothing else.
In those later ones the relic instead seems to be constituted of various elements: fat, skin, cinders and for the most part blood: ampulla cum sanguine et pinguedine ; contenente sangue , grasso et pelle ; relic sanguines cum carbonis et adipe et pelle , ex sanguine S.Laurentii Martyris .
This happened because the older documents were worded before the phenomenon of liquefaction, so they describe the relic in its solid state when fat is the most evident feature.
On the contrary in the latter, during the liquefaction state , the relic is described in the phase of melting when the blood is of a bright-red color and prevails over the other elements even if they're well evident in the ampulla.
So it is obvious that the documents deal with the same relic. There is another obscure point to solve: "how can people be sure that the blood belonged to Saint Lorenzo Martyr if, as the Aringhi wrote in his memory, the saint were unknown to the inhabitants?" This what he wrote: "People didn't know whose blood was that contained in the ampulla... But , as a miracle, on the 10th August, St. Lawrence day, it started melting and from that day it happens every year".
It was a positive proof to remove all the doubts that people could have.

rigin of the relic

There aren't any certain information about the discovery of St. Lawrence blood.
According to the tradition some people, belonging to Valeriano's army, would have picked up the blood during the martyrdom, as they did for the blood preserved in many glass ampulla discovered in the catacombs.
The first document in which is named St. Lawrence relic is the consecration deed of the Church of St. Mary's, recently discovered, which reports the list of all relics existing at that time, including the one described as  de pinguedine S.Laurentii Martyri , delle grassecze de Santu Laurentium Martire .

The act of consecration of St. Mary Church, September 8, 1177

The document is in Latin and vernacular. Here the vernacular version:

Ad onore de Deu patre omnipotente e dillu Filii et dillo Spiritu santu et dilla beatissima vergine M. genetrice de Deu et de tucti quanti li Santi. All'annu della Incarnazione dellu Signore nostru Deu mille centu sectanta secte alla decima indictione allu pontificatu (dellu) Signore Alexandru papa terzu all'anny soy decenove nellu mese de septembre allu di octo consecrata chesta ecclesia della gloriosa vergene Maria pelle mani dilli venerabili pontifici: de Redolfu Episcopo de Ferentino in nillu quale episcopatu essa ecclesia posta , et perlle mani de Episcopo lanni Episcopo de Fundi et perlle mani de Episcopo Ugu Episcopo de Terracina; nella quale ecclesia so le reliquia delli santi infrascripti: In primo dello vestimento della nostra domna Vergene M. Delle reliquie de Sancto Andrea Apostolo... (seguono altri santi) Delle reliquie de santu Cornelii pp. et martiru ,delle grassecze de santu Laurentiu martiru, delle reliquie de sanctu Ambrosi martiru... Et de altri Santi delli quali le nomora (nomi) loru so connessute innanti alla presentia de Deu allu quale lu honore et gloria et la virtute et la potestate et lu imperiu in secula seculorurn. Amen. Messer Redolfu Episcopo de Ferentino confidendose de tante meraville de santi et dillo patrocinio della parte de Deu omninipotente et della beatissima sempre Virgine Maria et de tucti li Santi si donao centu quaranta d de perdonanza a tucti chilli che devotamente in tale d como hogi presente venerno (verranno) a visitare la detta ecclesia santa et le reliquie innanti nominate dilli dicti santi pregando lu nostru Signore Deu che ipso Episcopo vello (ve lo) concesse in terra, ad ipsum Deu nostro Signore plaza de concedervelo in celu

The scholar who analysed the document believe that it was drawn up in the same period of the consecration deed of St. Mary's Church in 1177.
So it is certain that St.Lawrence relic is in Amaseno as far bais is written also in the Acta sanctorum in 1618.

From: "The Blood Miracle of St. Lawrence Martyr" by Giannetta P.Enrico - 1964

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Translated by
Valentina Daniele & Valentina Boccia

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