Incorruption and Canonization Miracles

My friend is in an argument with his teacher on miracles.

Does anyone have any links on incorrupted saints, and about the testing done, etc?

Also, the miracles required to have a canonization: does anyone have any links to sites about those?

Additional sites:

Check out the picture of St. Bernadette on the last link; very interesting!


Here’s some PIC’s I took of St. Bernadette, when I was in
Nevers France.


I must confess that I do not normally like to look at dead bodies, but in this case I made myself open the link even though I felt extremely uneasy about it, and I didn’t have the same feeling. It looked as if St. Bernadette was sleeping, although I felt the sleep was quite final in temporal terms. Would a photo capture a holy air?

There are, however, saints whose bodies have decomposed, so to as well as well preserved bodies of people who weren’t (necessarily) saints and incorruption has not universally and unanimously been regarded as a good sign, either, so it’s one thing when someone is a canonised saint and a different thing when some archaeologists find a body that hasn’t decayed. There always need to be other signs and something to suggest incorruption was supernatural and connected with the way the person lived piously.

Thanks Jim for the pictures. Do you have stories about the Saint? When did you take this picture? is her body still the same as in the picture?

ps: the link to second picture is not working.

These pics were taken in 1998. I also took pictures of
St Catherine Laboure, who is also incorrupt and beautiful.
This is not my pic, but one of her

A story I was told when I visited the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, was that St. Catherine incorrupt body was place in the chapel, as you see her in the pic, only her eyes were closed and her hands were laying down. During the French revolution, a riot broke out in the streets outside the chapel. Suddenly, her eyes opened and her hands turned up, pointing towards heaven as you see in the pic. As word about this reached the street, people ran in to see, and it stopped the riot.

You can’t see it in the pic, but her eyes are a beautiful blue and they’re clear and sparkling. It was amazing to see!


wow thank you Jim. I didn’t know any of this before.

I have a picture of St. Bernadette that was taken sometime in the early 80’s and she looks exactly the same as in Jim’s pictures.

On the subject of incorruption: Has anyone ever examined the bodies of the children of Fatima?
I seem to remember that some testing was done there as well. Anyone hear know anything about that?

Here’s some information about the incorruptibles, that will be useful in addressing skeptics.

First off, incorruptibles are not mummified. Mummification was accomplished by removal of internal organs and the use of dry heat, usually desert sand. Incorruptibles for the most part, were buried in areas which were counter productive to the mummification process, some were buried in swamp land. Also, the bodies of other’s buried at the same site, and even sometimes almost the same grave, decayed, but the bodies of the Saints did not. Another point is that the clothing that incorruptibles were buried in, decays and has to be changed. St. Bernadette, was changed several times over the years since her body was last exhumed from the grave.

Second, the incorruptibles, unlike those in mummification, are not stiff and leathery. They are soft and supple. Some even still bleed. I believe it was St. John of the Cross, when they went to cut one of his fingers off, to be used as a relic, he began to bleed, so they left him alone. I could be wrong on whether this was John of the Cross however.

Some of the incorruptibles appear to have dark leather skin. This is usually the incorruptibles who died before the technology of glass coffins came into being. Their bodies where placed in chapels where the burning of candles over the years, cause the skin of the incorruptible to darken. Some are almost black. St. Bernadette and St. Catherine Laboure, were spared this because they were placed in a glass coffin. Also, their exposed skin areas are covered in a thin film of wax.

Skeptics will often point out that body of Lenin has not decayed. The difference here is that Lenin was never buried.
As soon as he died, a team of taxidermist went to work on him and his body is kept in a controlled environment, and must be reworked in the latest state of the art technologies for preservation. However, even here, his body has begun to decay a little.

The Saints, this never happened. They were buried after their death and most often, for decades, before they were exhumed and found to be incorrupt.

Anyway, you can get the full story with plenty of pics in the book, “The Incorruptibles: A Study of the Incorruption of the Bodies of Various Catholic Saints,” by Joan Caroll Cruz. She
did an excellent job researching the whole phenomena of incorruptibility.


Evil people whose bodies dont decay have horribly grotesque forms and stink.

It may be cultural or maybe I’m just not used to dead bodies on display, but shouldn’t these people be buried? St. Faustina was, I believe, disinterred three times and still lies in a glass case like a display of tea cups. It just seems wrong to me.

I would love to hear the Church’s view - well, if there is a Church view.

Why would they need to be buried? Obviously God preserved their bodies for a purpose.


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