The incorruptibles are the handful of catholic saints who died throughout the years, yet their bodies, or parts of their dead bodies, will not decay or surrender to decomposition as a normal body would. One human relic even dates back to the year 1381, the head of Saint Catherine of Siena. These bodies had not gone through any embalming or mummification methods to prevent them from decomposition, yet their bodies, or some parts of their bodies, remain intact.
It is said that many of the incorruptibles bodies died from violent matters or harsh diseases. A lot of the bodies had been buried regularly within damp conditions, to be exhumed on a far later date. When these bodies were finally exhumed, a lot of them had their clothes disintegrated from bad burial conditions, yet their bodies remained the same, and sometimes looked as if they were still alive, or had just passed on.
There are other phenomenons that are associated with the corruptibles as well. These amazing feats include lack of rigor mortis, an sweet fragrant smell coming from the incoruptibles bodies (St. Sperandia, St. Rita of Cascia, etc.), scenes of bleeding far after passing ( St. Francis Xavier, etc.), some bodies have become warm long after death, and highly rare movement of limbs long after death as well, which also have been heavily associated with blessings ( St. Rita of Cascia). Some even say there have been extremely rare cases of talking as well.
( St. Esmeralda Eustachio Callafato)
A lot of these saints or blessed people had harsh lives as well. For example, the "Blessed Margaret of Castello" was born a blind, crippled dwarf. After being born she was disowned by her parents who happened to be the Lords in a small village in Italy. Due to her limbs not being the same length, she developed a limp, which later advanced her into a hunchback. Margaret was allowed to roam the castle where her parents lived under the care of the servants, but she could not make contact with her parents. Later in life she was thrown in a custom made cell by her parents for years.
Another example is Saint Bernadette, who was born into a poor family in 1844. She suffered greatly from sicknesses and diseases throughout her life.Doctor were at hand during this exumations as well. In the excumatin of Bernadette the doctor, Doctor Jourdan, a surgeon, wrote this about the exhumation experience:
"The coffin was opened in the presence of the Bishop of Nevers, the mayors of the town several canons and ourselves. We noticed no smell. The body was clothed in the habit of Bernadette's order. The habit was damp. Only the face, hands and forearms were uncovered. The head was tilted to the left. The face was dull white. The mouth was open slightly and it could be seen that the teeth were still in place. The hands, which were crossed upon the breast, were perfectly preserved, as were the nails. The hands still held a rusting Rosary. The veins on the forearms stood out." (Doctor Jourdan, 1909).
Why are these bodies not decaying? Is it truly a miracle? These are questions everyone seeks when it comes to the incorruptibles. Maybe with more time, we will learn how and why these bodies are different from normal ones, explaining this phenomenon.
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