Science and Sacrilege Roil the Faithful

It was a rough week for Italian saints. To start with, scientists in Milan announced that a mixture of iron chloride and calcium carbonate, which looks like dried blood, can duplicate a phenomenon that has long been regarded as the miracle of ST. JANUARIUS. A vial believed to contain blood from the 4th century priest is kept in Naples, where several times a year the contents spontaneously liquefy and then return to a powdery state. The researchers, who demonstrated the same phenomenon with the chemical compound, speculate that a chemist may have concocted a hoax. The next day, in Padua, four...

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