Naples Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Napoli, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta or Cattedrale di San Gennaro; Neapolitan: Viscuvato 'e Napule) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, the main church of Naples, southern Italy, and the seat of the Archbishop of Naples. It is widely known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro, in honor of Saint Januarius, the city's patron saint.
The patron saint of the cathedral, St. Januarius (San Gennaro) was an Italian bishop martyred in Pozzuoli under Diocletian around 305 AD. His body was transported to Naples Cathedral around 400 AD. Very little is known about the saint's life or the specifics of his death; most accounts date from several centuries later. As mentioned above, the Capella di San Gennaro is home to a reliquary bust containing the saint's head. In addition, the crypt altar contains two vials of San Gennaro's blood, which famously liquefies several times each year. According to tradition, the blood of San Gennaro first miraculously liquefied in the hands of Bishop St. Severus (d.409) after the saint's relics were transferred to Naples. The earliest written record of the miracle dates from 1389. The miracle of the blood of San Gennaro is scheduled to occur three times each year: the first Saturday in May (at Santa Chiara Church); September 19; and December 16. The most important of these is September 19, the saint's feast day, when the cathedral is packed with pilgrims and curious onlookers hoping to witness the miracle. (It is possible to book a spot near the altar in advance by applying to the sacristan; see contact information below.)