Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Incorruptibles

The Incorruptible Saints

On Divine Mercy Sunday, after giving out many Bibles at both the children’s rosary and the Divine Mercy Celebration we went to dinner with my mother.  We met at the travelers restaurant.  It is an unusual place in that when you go to have dinner each person is allowed to choose 3 books from the wall free.  The books are largely donated from libraries in the area and are usually rather old.  As we were waiting for our food I began to peruse the books.  As we had just finished 170 novenas to saints I was hoping to find a book on Saints to help provide more saints for us to invite to join the children’s rosary group.  As I looked down this one row I saw the words Incorruptibles.  My heart seemed to stop for a moment.  Could the title really be referring to the bodies of the saints.  A closer look proved to confirm it was a book about the incorruptible Saints.  I was ecstatic.  My husband brought it back to the table and on opening it the binding cracked and the pages became loose.  It truly was meant for me as I have a hard time holding and opening books with my hands and often have my husband intentionally break a books bindings so I can hold small parts of the book.  There was a wonderful list of saints and background reading on each saint.  I would like to include the list of saints here for your benefit.
Incorrupt body of St. Bernadette
The author of this book, Joan Carroll Cruz,  provides wonderful background into natural mummification or intentional mummification.  Both processes she explains without exception leave bodies no more than shriveled specimens, always rigid and extremely dry.  Most of the incorruptibles, however, are neither dry nor rigid but quite moist and flexible, even after the passage of centuries. Their preservation has occurred despite conditions which would encourage putrefaction.

The author provides three examples where lime was intentionally placed within caskets of St. Francis Xavier, St. John of the Cross and St Pascal Baylon to speed up the destruction of their bodies. In all three cases the bodies did not decay.  In the case of St. Francis despite amputation of his members for relics, rough treatment of the body and a grave too small to accommodate its normal length the body was beautiful 142 years later and still remains flexible.  

St. Zita
The main factor that encourages dissolution is moisture yet some of the saints were kept in wet conditions without an effect on their body. St. Catherine of Genoa lay in a grave for 13 months and was found perfectly spotless in spite of a damp and decayed shroud. St. Madeleine Sophie Barat was perfectly preserved 28 years after burial in wet and mildewed garments. The casket was significantly decayed but not her body.
While I was at Mass this past week the priest read this prayer after communion:
Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord, and grant, we pray, that those you were pleased to renew by eternal mysteries may attain in their flesh the incorruptible glory of the resurrection.  Through Christ Our Lord. Amen”  
After saying the prayer the priest repeated one portion “incorruptible glory of the resurrection”.  He seemed to be pondering these words in his head. Hearing the word incorruptible my mind went right to the Saints and the book I was reading.  In the context of this book one can see that those whom have followed our Lord Jesus through their life have enjoyed within their bodies an incorruptible glory.  Some of the Saints on this list have already been invited to join the children’s rosary by a 9 day novena.  Those who have not been invited to join our group I am committed to inviting.  In the weeks ahead I would like to spotlight many of these saints in their own blog entry.
Incorrupt body of St. Vincent DePaul
List of Incorrupt Saints:
St. Agatha
St Etheldreda
St Cuthbert
St Werburgh
St Guthlac
St Withburga
St. Alphege of Canterbury
St. Romuald
St Coloman
St Edward the Confessor
St Waltheof
St Ubald of Gubbio
St Idesbald
St. Benezet
St. Hugh of Lincoln
Bl. Bertrand of Garrigua
St. Edmund Rich of Canterbury
St. Rose of Viterbo
St. Serandia
St. Albert the Great
St. Margaret of Cortona
Bl James de Blanconibus
St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Bl. Peter Ghigenzi
Bl Angelo of Borgo San Seplcro
St Clare of Montefalco
St. Agnes of Montepulciano
Bl Mattia Nazzarei of Matelica
Bl Margaret of Metola
Bl John of Chiaramonte
St. Peregrine Laziosi
Bl Sibyllina Biscossi
St Catherine of Siena
St Herculanus of Peigaro
St Rita of Cacia
St Antoninus
Bl Anthony Vici
St. Didacus of Alcala
St Catherine of Bologna
Bl Margaret of Savoy
Bl Eustochia of Padua
Bl Anthony Bonfadini
Bl Eustochia Calafato
Bl Bernard Scammacca
Bl Arcangela Girlani
Bl Osanna of Mantua
St. Catherine of Genoa
Bl Margaret Lorraine
St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria
St. Angela Merici
Bl Lucy of Narni
St John of God
St. Francis Xavier
St Stanislaus Kostka
Bl Mary Bagnesi
St Louis Bertrand
St. Teresa of Avila
St Charles Borromeo
Ven. Catalina de Cristo
St. Benedict the Moor
St Catherine dei Ricci
St. John of the Cross
Bl. Alphonsus de Orozco
St. Pascal Baylon
St. Philip Neri
St. Germaine Cousin
St. Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi
Saint Camillus de Lellis
Ven John of Jesus Mary
Saint Rose of Lima
Ven. Maria Vela
St. Francis de Sales
St. Josaphat
Ven Mother Maria of Jesus
St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
ST. Jane Frances de Chantal
St. John Southworth
St. Andrew Bobola
St. Vincent de Paul
St. Pacifico of Fan Severino
St. Veronica Giuliani
St. Lucy Filippini
St. Teresa margaret of the Sacred Heart
Saint Julie Billiart
Bl. Anna maria Taigi
St. Vincent Pallotti
Bl. Rose Philippine Duchesne
St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
St. Peirre Julien Eymard
St. Catherine Laboure
St. Bernadette Soubirous
Bl. Paula Frassinetti
Bl. Charbel Makhlouf
Bl Maria Assunta Pallotta

1 comment:

  1. I love learning about the Incorruptibles. I have read all books on the subject, including "The Incorruptibles" by Joan Cruz and "Christian Mummification" by Ken Jeremiah. Both are great books about this holy miracle, but "Christian Mummification" is by far the newest and most comprehensive text. We should learn as much as we can about this important Christian subject.