St. Januarius served as bishop of Benevento, Italy, during the persecutions under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. St. Januarius was arrested while spending time with imprisoned deacons. The saint and the deacons were all martyred circa 304. St. Januarius was thrown to wild beasts, but he was beheaded after the animals would not attack him. The saint’s blood was preserved and dried. Since 1389, his blood liquefies on his feast day and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May. St. Januarius is patron saint of blood banks.