Again, the issue of incorrupt saint's bodies.

English is not my native language, so I’m sorry for any misspellings.

This is video showing some bodies of saints that did not get incorrupt. actually there are happenings to the saints of the two Orthodox and Catholic churches, in Egypt there is museum where you can see some bodies of saints who did not get incorrupt.

After talking about this issue with family members and friends, my father visited Rome once and he talked to us about what he called it " Mummified bodies " or I guess there is another word in english instead of “mummified” but in my native language the word is one. So what is the answer for that claim ?

The second guess come when friend said that could be " wax statues " he means that the church made statues made of wax, just like the statues of Hollywood stars…etc. What is the answer for the claim ?

Third question is from me, I saw the video, there are some bodies that looked very dark skin or like black or burned skins…etc. why is that? Especially that one in Egypt, almost most of them had the bad skin that almost gone,

May God bless you and his church and guide us to his will.

There is a book out there, sorry but I do not remember. Perhaps others will post:

This link has some explanations:

I hope this link can shed more understanding for you and our family/friends:

When a body is described as being incorrupt it means that it does not decay after death. The same cannot be said of a body that is well preserved or mummified, or has undergone an embalming process. Most such corpses become stiff, but incorruptible saints remain completely flexible, as if they are only sleeping.

This is particularly true of Saint Bernadette [pictured above] whose body is displayed in a glass case at the Convent of Nevers in France. In spite of having died more than 130 years ago, she looks for all the world as if she is about to wake up. It is true that when she was exhumed a second time, the nuns gave her face a light wax mask, but this was done mainly to cover damage caused earlier by washing. A doctor who removed one of her ribs to provide a relic found her body had remained pliable.

From the description of the video:
“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.”

In other words, it doesn’t mean that they won’t decay at all. It means that, for the amount of time that has passed, and considering the conditions the bodies were kept in, the amount of decay is much, much less than what would be expected. This is especially true when clothing and other items on or with the body, or other nearby bodies, have decayed at a normal (expected) rate. And in some cases, it is only part of the body that is incorruptible; the rest has decayed naturally.

Part of the natural process of decay is darkening of the skin, so it is not unexpected for some of the bodies to have very dark and wrinkled skin after so many years, but it is still quite unexpected that the body would be in such good condition and does not disintegrate the way a mummified body does once it’s exposed to air and light. They have been studied by doctors and scientists, as well. In many cases, they still bleed if the skin is cut. I’m pretty sure that mummified bodies and wax statues don’t do* that.* :wink:

However, a few of these saints’ bodies, once they began to show signs of decay, were embalmed (mummified) or coated with wax to help preserve them further. However, this was done long AFTER the bodies had already been found to be incorruptible, many years after the person’s death–and they should still have been much more decayed than they are, even if they had been mummified from the moment of their death.

I think it is very inspiring and beautiful. However, if a person does not want to believe that these are miracles, they are not required by the Church to believe in it. Therefore, perhaps it’s best not to press the issue too much with your father and your friend. :wink:

Forgive me, as a novice to all this, but what does it prove that a body hasn’t decomposed in the normal manner? Some of these clearly have decayed, and in other wax covers have been put on the hide the extent of the actual decay. I’m just not sure what the point is?

IMHO, it doesn’t really “prove” anything one way or another… except that these particular bodies have not decayed at anything close to a “normal” rate. If you know a little about the normal, expected rate of decay, especially in the conditions many of these bodies were buried in, then it’s simply amazing–even miraculous. If you don’t know much about it or are skeptical, then these “incorruptibles” are probably not going to mean much, if anything, to you, because some of these bodies do show some signs of decay, and that may be all you’re going to notice. :shrug:

And re:the wax coating, perhaps you should read my previous post, as I addressed that already (and actually, the decay of the bodies, as well). :wink:

To me, it’s simply a reminder that God is the sustainer of life, we belong to Him; it’s also a reminder that He is victorious over death, and we are invited to share in His victory over death. Lastly, I think it’s an opportunity for some to strengthen their faith in God. Others may find other meaning in it than I do, or no meaning at all, because they will have a different perspective than me. And that’s fine.

Many people have been inspired to find out more about these saints’ lives because of the incorruptibility of their bodies; many other miracles have happened with these saints, as well, so their sainthood and holiness doesn’t “hinge” on the incorruptibility of their bodies. If it does nothing for your faith to know about them, there’s nothing wrong with that. As I said, it’s not required to believe it, or to believe that it “proves” anything. It’s just one more opportunity for us to see God’s influence on earth, in our lives, and in the lives of others.


The oldest incorruptible body is that of St Cecelia. She died in 177. Her cask was moved to a chapel in the 800’s. In 1599 (1400 years after her death) her cask was opened to find an incorruptible body.

The Catholic Church would not lie about the incorrupt bodies of the saints. There have been investigations into their incorrupt bodies. I guarantee that the Church would not lie. They are not wax statues. They are literally the bodies of the saints which were miraculously preserved by God.

Actually the Church has made a thin wax mask of Bernadette’s face. They do not hide the fact and it is common knowledge. They had a doctor check her body and her internal organs were found to be as subtle as if she had just died although it had been over 75 years.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit