Monday, December 13, 2010

Kate of Bologna

Terry of Idle Speculations has a nice post about St. Catherine of Bologna, another patron-designate of artists.  Check it out here.  I just wanted to post the photo of the saint's relics because it is one of the creepiest incorruptible examples in the Catholic Church - although St. Clare of Assisi is a close second - she's pretty mummy-like weird as well.  I think this type of  incorruptible saint ought to be named the patron of cosmetic surgeons and their patients - since the patients end up looking like mummies anyway.


  1. Im glad thatyou liked the photo, I think : )

  2. It kind of makes you wonder how they define "incorruptible", doesn't it? I mean no disrespect to St Catherine, but she's no Bernadette, in this regard, is she?
    I remember seeing a photo of this as a small child and being rather horrified.

  3. Poor thing, she looks tired, sitting up for all these centuries.
    I liked the story about St. Cecilia, whose body was also incorrupt. Her burial place was discovered in 1599, when remodeling of her basilica was being done. She had at that time been dead nearly 1500 years. She was found to be still incorrupt, and left in the position she died in, covered by a thin veil. It was said that out of "holy reverence" her remains were not disturbed in any way, and after a public viewing, her body was again entombed.

  4. Terry - I like the photo very much, and I'm fond of St. Catherine of Bologna as well. I was just pointing out the obvious - many people think this practice is odd and the image scary. I do hope there is nothing wrong with a macabre sense of humor regarding death.

    When it comes to incorruptibles I often think of the scene in The Brothers Karamazov 'The Odor of Corruption' when Fr. Zosima's corpse began to corrupt before the eyes of the monks and pilgrims coming to venerate his relics on the day of his funeral. For me, the Zosima 'disappointment' parallels St. Therese' prophecy that her remains would be found corrupt.

    It is all such a mystery, isn't it.

  5. elisabeta8:10 PM

    Santa Lucia wasn't incorrupt, but she brought her mother to the incorrupt body of St. Agatha and received a cure. Like St. Cecelia and St. Agnes, what a beautiful saint she is. Happy Feast Day!

  6. Julie, note that St. Bernadette was exhumed, washed, exhumed again, had mildewed and the third time they made a cast to be used, together with photographs, to create a wax mask for her face and hands. This is typical French; St. Catherine of Bologna was merely exhumed and relocated.

    With mildew and no mask, St. Bernadette probably wouldn't look so good.

  7. Nan-
    Yeah, I see your point. Thank you.
    Mildew. Oh dear.
    Elisabeta! Glad to see you're apparently safe and sound. Wondered if you made your consecration ceremony.


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