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I was thinking lately why the incorruptibles are not "pretty" over time, or seemed to eventually corrupt.

On a discussion here, this came up too, when someone asked what an incorruptible actually looked like (Saint Bernadette and others have wax masks, which are fully revealed, but some use them to call "fraud") and it was shown they are not lifelike.

It just struck me what "incorruptible" meant. It didn't mean invincible or a stasis field, but they were not decaying. The bodies were not immune to other effects such as deliberate destruction and various chemical interactions which could eventually cause the body to wear away or atrophy in some ways, but they did not decay or smell like decaying flesh.

This may seem obvious to some, but since it was something which confused me which I have just resolved (when reading physician accounts of examinations of the incorruptibles, where doctors who were used to dead bodies could easily see how a dead body which was not pretty was incorrupt, which would not be obvious to those only familiar with living bodies.

Does anyone know why some saints are incorruptibles and others aren't? Also, why are some more incorrupt than others? This puzzled me when I visited Italy (where every second church seems to have an incorruptible!)
(09-05-2009, 09:40 PM)SinfullyLate Wrote: [ -> ]Does anyone know why some saints are incorruptibles and others aren't?
God knows. I'm sure it makes sense to Him, but it isn't something we are too know.

Quote:Also, why are some more incorrupt than others?
I think it is because of the environment. It seems if they (or parts of them) are incorrupt, they are so equally, but they may have other influences. St. Bernadette was in a damp place, and during the first exhumation, there were other effects. This resulted in some skin being worn away and some atrophy of the muscles and various calcium deposits, but she was incorruptible still. Others may be exposed to candle smoke, and such, resulting in other negative effects on the body. It seems that they are rather perfectly preserved for a long time, until the effects of various chemicals and minerals start to take their toll.


is it me or are there far more incorrupt female saints than male ones?
(09-05-2009, 10:13 PM)AntoniusMaximus Wrote: [ -> ]is it me or are there far incorrupt female saints than male ones?

When it comes to numbers, it is never just one person for whom it seems Wink

Female:
Jacinta Marto
Saint Mary Mazzarello
Saint Bernadette Soubirous
Blessed Paula Frassinetti
St. Catherine Laboure
Bl. Anna Marie Taigi
St. Teresa Margaret
St. Veronica Giuliani
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Ven. Mary of Agreda
St. Angela Merici
Bl. Osanna of Manua
St. Catherine of Bologna
St. Rita of Cascia
Blessed Imelda Lambertini
Blessed Margaret of Metola
St. Agnes of Montepulciano
St. Clare of Montefalco
St. Zita
St. Sperandia
Saint Withburga
Saint Etheldreda
Saint Agatha
Saint Cecilia


Male:
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Pope St. Pius X
St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney (Cure' of Ars)
St. Vincent Pallotti
St. Andrew Bobola
St. Francis Xavier
Saint Alphege

However, it makes one wonder just how common it really is. I mean, how often are bodies exhumed?
This is my singular opinion. I've never heard that in-corruptables are dogmatic nor that the Church has ever made any pronouncement as to their veracity. If I am wrong please correct me.
tim
(09-05-2009, 10:28 PM)timoose Wrote: [ -> ]This is my singular opinion. I've never heard that in-corruptables are dogmatic nor that the Church has ever made any pronouncement as to their veracity. If I am wrong please correct me.
tim

They are investigated as miracles.

I don't know what you mean by "dogmatic". The Church investigates them and can declare them to  be a miracle, often in support of canonisation. They are not automatically used to mean anything, like anything else.
My pal Ros, I should not have used 'dogmatic'. I apologise. consider this if God wanted their bodies  to be incorruptible they would look marvelous. I've never seen that.
tim
(09-05-2009, 11:09 PM)timoose Wrote: [ -> ]My pal Ros, I should not have used 'dogmatic'. I apologise. consider this if God wanted their bodies  to be incorruptible they would look marvelous. I've never seen that.
tim

Why? Jesus was pure but even His body was allowed to be harmed by the world. It comes from the outside, not inside.
(09-05-2009, 10:13 PM)AntoniusMaximus Wrote: [ -> ]is it me or are there far more incorrupt female saints than male ones?

I have noticed this as well - it is a staggering ratio of female to male concerning Incorruptibles.  I have my own pet-theory concerning this phenomenon, though.

I believe that it, in essence, it is actually more difficult for a woman to attain a high level of "holiness" in this world.  The simple fact that women were, concerning the order of things, created "beneath" men is the obvious reason.  Here we almost see a level of wanting to "catch up" with men.  In today's modern times, this is even more so than ever before.  Although women are, in the eyes of the modern world, now on an equal level with men, it is now even more difficult for them to attain a high level of holiness due to the poison of modern feminism and the ebb and flow of the modern world.  The role of women so given by God and declared in holy writ is now deemed "old-fashioned" and degrading.  It is now held in the utmost respect for a woman to venture out into the corporate world and have a fulfilling career - putting off having children or just doing away with the idea altogether.

With all of this being said, I also believe that when a woman reaches such a high level of righteousness, their holiness shines like a great light to the Lord.  These saintly women put the holiness of most men to shame, and they have done so seemingly "against the odds," so to say.  So, in other words, it is easier for a woman to choose decadence and wickedness than righteousness and holiness, ESPECIALLY in modern times.  I guess this is the reason why I have always had such a great respect for women who choose to be nuns - because it almost seems that the world demands less of them and they are breaking the mold with such a choice.  It cannot be avoided that the VAST majority of women Incorruptibles were nuns or otherwise attached to an ascetic order.  It was the righteous example of holy women like St. Bernadette that helped lead me home to the Catholic Church.
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