Incorrupt Saints
#1
Could you all please explain to me what exactly is meant when a saint is declared incorrupt?

For example, St. Maria Goretti.  Surely her body was covered in wax or something, right?  If her body truly is incorrupt, perhaps it was enhanced or something?

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Can you help me understand - are the saints incorrupt bodies under a wax shell or something? 
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#2
Many of them have simply resisted decomposition and are in a better state than most other dead bodies.  This is the case with many saints such as St. Rita of Cascia.  However, many people are unaware of the European custom of corposantos, which are wax figures of the saints with their bones inside.  These are often purported to to be incorrupt.
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#3
Quote: ServantofGod
Could you all please explain to me what exactly is meant when a saint is declared incorrupt?

For example, St. Maria Goretti.  Surely her body was covered in wax or something, right?  If her body truly is incorrupt, perhaps it was enhanced or something?

No. A truly incorrupt saint is not enhanced by any artificial means but is the work of God. It is true that you can use artificial means, such as embalming chemicals like formaldehyde but for that reason the Church investigates and makes sure that these methods were not used. If they find out that no method was in fact used then the Church declares them incorrupt.

This is not different than the Church's investigation regarding miracles. In order to make sure that a miracle did in fact happen, then there are lengthy investigations done by scientists and medical experts to make sure that the miracle was legitamite. If no scientist or medical expert can explain the miracle, then it has to be "supernatural" and thus a miracle.

As far as the saints who are declared incorrupt by the Church there are many. Here are a few examples shown in the following video.

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#4
I love incorruptibles! They, along with Eucharistic miracles (and the Fatima Sun Miracle) leave non-believers (and even Protestants) totally dumbfounded. Frankly I don't think that we talk about miracles enough. It is miracles, not theology, that converts. The faith spread in the decades after Christ's death and ascension because of the Resurrection, and we who believe in it need to argue the incontrovertible evidence that proves it.
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#5
Back in the day they would wash the bodies of the saints. An incorrupt body would start to decay so they would put a thin layer of wax on the body.
The great Teresa of Avila was found incorrupt but they ripped her body apart. Her right foot is in Rome and was stolen in the 1970's  I think. They stole the jewels but returned the footl
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#6
Good book:  The incorruptibles, by Joan Carroll Cruz.  Lots of pictures, information, and explanations.  I I got my copy very economically on Amazon as a used book.    Very interesting read.
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#7
As I understand it SOME of the incorruptibles undergo some deterioration due to discolouration and desiccation and their appearance has been enhanced with a light waxing and so fourth.

As to the fate of poor St Theresa of Avila... it seems that Thomas Aquinas met a similar fate. 
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#8
Here are some more; although it seems to me that some of the most pertinent and contemporary do not appear. For example St Pius X.

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/libr...orrupt.htm
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#9
Most of these bodies are covered in wax, even St. Bernadette has a light coating of wax. Padre Pio is wearing a silicone mask. "Incorrupt" means that the body is intact after the normal period for decomposition. It doesn't mean they look like they're "sleeping." There might be signs of decomposition.

Like lee said, all over Europe are wax figures of the saints with their bones inside. They are not incorrupt. Some are statues that act as reliquaries with the bones inside.


Here's St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli. She looks mummified, but her body is intact.

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#10
(07-08-2014, 09:13 AM)SCG Wrote: Most of these bodies are covered in wax, even St. Bernadette has a light coating of wax. Padre Pio is wearing a silicone mask. "Incorrupt" means that the body is intact after the normal period for decomposition. It doesn't mean they look like they're "sleeping." There might be signs of decomposition.

:thumb:
This is also the case with Venerable Maria de Agreda, and so many more.  They simply resist decomposition.  They do not look like they are sleeping.  Many have had had parts of their body removed that are displayed with wax replacements, such as the head of Mother Cabrini or the hands of St. Catherine Laboure.
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