The day of the handkerchiefs, the battle of the Treasure of San Gennaro

The Background

On January 22, 2016, the Ministry of the Interior issues a decree which, equating the Chapel of the Treasury of San Gennaro with a factory (term with which a Church property is identified), sets the deadline of one year for the approval of the new Statute of Chapel.

The provision is considered an objective danger for the safeguarding of the Chapel itself as a lay body and of the Deputation, the body which, at the behest of the City of Naples, has always administered it.

On the juridical level, the Deputation challenges the decree, notifying a detailed appeal to the Ministry and the Curia and at the same time, on the diplomatic level, starts a delicate process to represent both the groundlessness of the decision and the need for the Chapel to remain exclusive property. of the city

Popular participation

The city of Naples gathers around the Deputation and with it the media from all over the world who, in reporting the news for several days, make a square with the deputies and the institution.

In just ten days, more than ten thousand signatures are collected in a popular petition in support of the organization and its secularism, but the most moving participation is given by the spontaneous movement on Saturday 5 March: at about 15, three thousand people gather in front of the churchyard of the Cathedral to demonstrate in favor of the secularity of the Chapel and each wave a white handkerchief, repeating the sign that the deputy on duty has given to the city for centuries as soon as the patron’s blood melts.

The turning point

On 23 April 2016 the Curia and the Deputation sign a historic deed which clarifies the secularity of the Chapel between the parties.

On 30 April 2016, on the occasion of the “Miracle of May”, the Minister of the Interior, Angelino Alfano, meets the Deputation and the Curia in Naples to seal the agreement reached.

Historic deed that declares the secularity of the Royal Chapel of the Treasury of San Gennaro. Present (starting from the left) Cardinal Sepe, the president of the Imperiali deputation and the vice president Carafa.