The manna of St. Nicholas is the water that forms in the tomb of the saint (since his burial in the Basilica of Mira). According to chronicles, the bones floated in this liquid when they were stolen by sailors from Bari. The miracle continued even when the bones of the Saint were placed inside the Nicolaian Citadel and the faithful began to attribute thaumaturgical properties.
Over the centuries different terms have been used to define the liquid, such as oleum, unguentum; the Russians call it myro and the Greeks myron. According to the analysis of the chemistry laboratory of the University of Bari carried out in 1925, it is actually water of particular purity (40 mg liter of fixed residue against 100 mg that is usually found in water and 50 mg that are rarely found) that probably forms from condensation.
Since 1980, the manna is taken every May 9th, the anniversary of the transfer, and collected in a crystal ampoule called “the glass of St. Nicholas”. A few drops of the manna are diluted in water and distributed to the faithful to benefit from the thaumaturgical properties attributed to the liquid.
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