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Monday, 21 November 2011

Incorruptible Corpses

Incorruptibility is the name given to the situation in which a dead person does not decay after death. The orthodox church consider it essential in considering a person for canonization as a saint, and the Roman Catholic Church consider it as sign of sainthood but not a necessity. Additionally, the Catholic Church believes that a body is not deemed incorruptible if it has undergone an embalming process or other means of preserving the dead, or if it has become stiff, as do all normal corpses, even when the best preservation techniques are used. Incorruptible saints remain completely flexible, as if they were only sleeping. Incorruptible bodies are often said to have the Odour of Sanctity, exuding a sweet aroma. Over the years there have been hundreds of Saints whose bodies have been found to be incorrupt – some many hundreds of years after their death. In the image above we seeSt Bernadette as she appears today – 129 years after her death

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