Incorrupt bodies of the saints
#11
(07-30-2011, 01:24 PM)LausTibiChriste Wrote: Ive seen St Bernadette in Nevers...she truely did look as beautiful and saintly as she does in the pictures

She is beautiful and looks sweet-tempered.  I'm pretty sure that her face is covered by a wax mask, though.  I think she's the one I read about whose face was OK until the sisters washed it after the most recent exhumation, which was a long time ago.  The washing was a big mistake, they had to make a mask.

As Walty and Vetus Ordo are discussing, many of the "incorruptibles" have wax facial masks.  It's still interesting that their bodies are largely whole rather than being skeletal remains. 

I believe St. Catherine Laboure is another who looked fine until the sisters washed her face.  She could use a wax mask now, judging from the photos I've seen.

I guess St. Padre Pio is considered an incorruptible but there was enough decay to his face that they made a wax mask to cover it.  His hands are natural, I think.



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#12
I tend to question whether most of the "incorruptables" are actually like that due to miraculous causes.

I also doubt whether the posthumous preservation of one's body has anything to do with his sanctity.
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#13
(07-31-2011, 08:04 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: I tend to question whether most of the "incorruptables" are actually like that due to miraculous causes.

I also doubt whether the posthumous preservation of one's body has anything to do with his sanctity.
I'd say only God can do it... I suspect He had a reason.
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#14
Are they really incorruptible if they need wax masks?

Also, this article is interesting and fairly neutral.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility

I tend to be REALLY leery of supposed miracles.  This is just the kind of thing that makes Protestants think we are insane.  Just a step up from seeing the face of Jesus in your grilled cheese sandwich.  It's hard enough that, in my experience, most non-Catholics consider us benighted medieval peasants with the Pope's boot on our necks - things like this, which I admit COULD be supernatural. make it even harder to have a discussion about veneration of the Saints, the place of Marian devotion, transubstantiation, and the other "core" things of the Faith.

I've said it dozens of times here - Fides et Ratio - our Church invented the very idea of the university and of empiricism.  Isn't there some argument to be made that devotion to scientifically dubious events degrades rather than glorifies the Faith?  And yes - the Resurrection IS a miracle and I am not denying it, or the Transfiguration, or the Ascension, or.......just sayin', that some of the odder and more curious corners of Catholicism have some St-Christopher-type pious embellishment that may not be entirely beneficial.

I haven't rechecked the dates of death of the saints pictured here, but I am assuming that most of them are from prior to the regular use of embalming.  A properly embalmed body can, I believe, under the best conditions last between 2 and 5 years before starting to decompose (though I am willing to stand corrected on that).  So if these bodies were not embalmed.....I guess it is a little bit of a miracle, but with their faces and hands waxed over, I can't really tell from the pictures what shape they are in.
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#15
(07-31-2011, 08:04 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: I tend to question whether most of the "incorruptables" are actually like that due to miraculous causes.

I also doubt whether the posthumous preservation of one's body has anything to do with his sanctity.

Why? Have you seen St. Catherine Laboure's hands? They're perfectly preserved. How do you explain it?

There have been incorrupt saints who after a while were no longer incorrupt. Presumably this is part of God's plan, just like keeping them incorrupt in the first place was. Miracles don't come with a promise to stick around forever, and God can take away favors out of punishment for sin or because of a lack of faith.

I thought it was common knowledge, too, that many of them have masks. If you read the book The Incorruptibles it will usually tell you, I think.
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#16
(07-31-2011, 08:04 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: I tend to question whether most of the "incorruptables" are actually like that due to miraculous causes.

I also doubt whether the posthumous preservation of one's body has anything to do with his sanctity.

I'm fairly sure that there have been Buddhist monks who are similarly preserved without any preparation.  These are called miracles as well.  I think that every once and awhile a body may be naturally perserved in an extraordinary way merely due to a series of physical factors coming together just perfectly in one's burial place.
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#17
(07-31-2011, 02:15 PM)Walty Wrote:
(07-31-2011, 08:04 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: I tend to question whether most of the "incorruptables" are actually like that due to miraculous causes.

I also doubt whether the posthumous preservation of one's body has anything to do with his sanctity.

I'm fairly sure that there have been Buddhist monks who are similarly preserved without any preparation.  These are called miracles as well.  I think that every once and awhile a body may be naturally perserved in an extraordinary way merely due to a series of physical factors coming together just perfectly in one's burial place.
I agree, and I can understand mummification, but how do physical factors affect the reported suppleness of the bodies? I'm at a loss for that one.
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