Unexplainable Mysteries of Incorrupt Bodies Of Christian Saints
Is it divine intervention or the selfless deeds of these humble servants of God that have made them immune to the ravages of time?
Throughout the years, the Roman Catholic Church has shown us the power of God through his word and many miracles that continue to take place on earth. One kind of these miracles is the bodies of some of its saints being incorruptible over the decades.
Some of the most famous of these are listed below.
St Silvan (Died between 300 - 350 A.D.)
Martyred for his faith, Saint Silvan lived in the fourth century. Yet, 17 centuries later, his body lies in a perfect state of preservation in the Church of Saint Blaise in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
St Bernadette of Lourdes (Died 1879)
Despite initial scepticism from the Roman Catholic Church, St Bernadette Soubirous claims of seeing eighteen apparitions of Mary were eventually declared valid and worthy of belief. After her death, until today her body, kept at the shrine at Lourdes remains as is and is a major pilgrimage centre for Catholics from around the world.
St John Vianney (Died 1859)
The French parish priest who is now the patron saint of parish priests, St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney became famous internationally for his parish work that led to a great spiritual transformation of his community. A significant relic of the saint - his incorruptible body, is visible even today at the shrine in Ars-sur-Formans.
St Vincent de Paul (Died 1660)
French Catholic, Saint Vincent de Paul was ordained in 1600 and dedicated himself to serving the poor. Later he was abducted and forced into slavery by Turkish pirates. But the Word of God burned bright through him, and he was freed in 1607 after converting his owner to Christianity. In 1712, 53 years after his death, his body was exhumed, and only the eyes and nose showed some decay.
St Teresa Margaret (Died 1770)
Born Anna Maria Redi 1747, St Teresa Margaret was an Italian Discalced Carmelite nun. After her sudden death at 22 years old, her body was so discoloured the nuns worried about leaving her coffin open. But soon her natural colour returned, and within two days her body appeared as if she was sleeping. Her incorrupt body still rests in the Carmelite Church.
St Veronica Giuliani (Died 1727)
Born to devout parents in Italy, Saint Veronica Giuliani (Veronica de Julianis) showed early signs of sanctity. After 17 years in various offices in her community, she received the stigmata on Good Friday, the Crown of Thorns impressed on her head a little later and a mystical ring that encircled her ring finger. After her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839, and her body remained incorrupt for many years until it was destroyed by flooding. Today her bones are installed in a composite figure of the saint and her skull covered with wax. Her incorrupt heart, though, resides in a separate reliquary to date.
St John Bosco (Died 1888)
Saint Don Bosco was an Italian Catholic priest, educator and recognized scholar who believed in teaching by love rather than punishment - a method that soon became known as the Salesian Preventive System because of his love for the spirituality and philosophy of Francis de Sales. In Turin, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other impoverished youth. Canonized on Easter Sunday in 1934, his incorruptible body, a topic of much debate is on display in Turin, Italy even today.