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Correcting the Incorruptibles: List of saints mistaken as incorrupt


Posted by on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 22:44
This item was posted in Series, The Incorruptibles and has 7 Comments so far.

I am not morbid nor do I have any habit of staring at corpses. Its just that whenever I see images of the incorrupt bodies of saints, it liberates me from the fear of death and reminds me that life after death is already eternal. This is one of the reasons why I research so much in this subject for this blog series because I want the world to know that the Glory of the Resurrection is something to look forward to. Something to hope for, something to expect that will happen and something that will motivate us to love God even more. But some bloggers and forum users in the internet are so obsessed with the incorruptibles that they never try to investigate whether the images that they see or the stories they heard were true or not. Some mistook images and figures as the actual incorruptibles.

Incorruptibles are classified as such if a saint’s body undergone a supernatural and unexplainable cause of incorruptibility at one point after their death without any kind of human or environmental intervention.

Saints are often times portrayed lying in there eternal sleep just like the image of Christ as “Santo Entiero” or the dead Christ in order to venerate and honor their entry into heaven. These images of saints (often in wax figures) representing their actual position during their death are often mistaken as the actual incorrupt bodies or mistaken as being an Incorruptible themselves.

Below are some of the saints mistaken as incorruptibles:

St. Sylvan
One of the most common saint mistaken as an Incorruptible, St. Sylvan / Silvan is an early Christian Martyr who was murdered in 350 AD by his enemies. His throat was slashed. This figure under the altar of Cathedral of Saint Blaise, Dubrovnik, Croatia is often mistaken as his body. The saint is not incorrupt and the statue is just a depiction of his death. His bones otherwise is interred beneath the statue.

Blessed John XXIII
Pope John XIII, now Blessed was found incorrupt when his body was exhumed. But the Vatican dismissed it as a miracle and ascribed the incorruptibility to science. Blessed John XXIII’s body was embalmed when he died and his remains where placed in three layers of coffin; one is made of zinc and the other is made up of lead, which contributed to the air tight condition of the corpse thus being preserved throughout the years it was buried.

St. Padre Pio
Padre Pio, a Capuchin Monk who died in 1968 had similar treatment. Padre Pio’s body was embalmed and was buried under a three tons slab which took a crane for it to be sealed. When his body was exhumed in 2008, Vatican officials found that the back part of his head was already in skeletal form and the face is fairly decomposing except for the body and the limbs. In order that the face would be presentable and recognizable, a silicone mask was applied in the face.

St. Louise de Marillac
St. Luoise de Marillac, the co-founder of the Daughters of Charity and one of the spiritual children of St. Vincent De Paul was also not incorrupt when her body was exhumed. In fact, inside this wax figure is the Saint’s bones. Many mistook her as an incorruptible because her remains within the wax figure are displayed in the same chapel in the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Rue Du Bac where the actual incorrupt Heart of St. Vincent De Paul and incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure (Visionary of the Apparition of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) also lies

St. Therese of Liseux
St. Therese of Liseux a.k.a. the Little Flower was also considered by many as incorrupt but actually she is not even though she belongs to the category of Virgins in the canons of the saints. In fact, her bones are placed in a reliquary and has travelled all over the world and venerated by thousands of faithful. This image of hers in the Liseux Carmel Chapel is just a wax image, an exact replica and position during her death.

I will update this list from time to time.



: a.k.a. "bluepanjeet" has been writing in cyber space since 2005. In 2006, he jump-started his Catholic blogging a few years before the Catholic Church utilized social networks and blogs in spreading the Gospel. In 2007, in response to a realization of the growing need for Catholic Bloggers online, he officially launched his own self-hosted Catholic blog and called it "On The Wings Of My Dream" or simply OTWOMD which is a metaphor of his favorite psalm in the Bible, Psalm 63. Since then he has been blogging, (and sometimes podcasting) for the Catholic Church using his enthusiasm in the New Media, his inclination on visual and digital arts, his passion for the written word and his love for the Catholic Church. You can follow Rom's tweets on Twitter @rommatthieson




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7 Comments

  1. 22 August, 2010, 2:42

    Youre a liar and devil sent.

  2. 22 August, 2010, 12:00

    Thanks. Likewise. It takes one to know one.

  3. Mark
    7 April, 2011, 3:38

    This is a truly fascinating subject, and I know that John XXIII and Padre Pio have had work done, so… I am not too worried about you being devil sent. The fact is, incorruptibility among saints isn’t exclusive to Christianity, but then again neither is God.

    Thank you for a great post.

  4. Nate
    21 July, 2011, 13:02

    Im afraid to look up the Islamic equivalent of this  8-O :( 8-O

  5. tracy rachal
    28 July, 2011, 12:15

    could you list the saints that are incorruptible? i was so disappointed to find out that some of the saints that are listed as incorruptible are really not!!!!!

  6. Rev.C.C.Russell
    3 November, 2011, 16:36

    As a pastor and embalmer I do have some experience with dead bodies and the decaying process. As I looked closely at the provided pictures of the “wax” saints; I must conclude the blogger is correct. I can see this by picture so to see them in person would be that much more convincing. One should not look at this as an attack on the Catholic Church. I would also remind you that the only thing difference between a sinner and a saint; is one is forgiven and the other one is not.

    I have seen bodies exhumed at cemeteries that were embalmed and buried. After 10 years many are in good condition. Their is so discoloration and such, but easily corrected by morticians wax and makeup. The money the Vatican has and power; the bodies could easily be recreated in wax or touched up. Also temperature is important as well as air flow. Simply look at Lenin and Stalin’s bodies…..where they saints? I hope not. They were preserved by the embalming processes established. Just a thought.

    +++++++++++

    Hello. Thank you for reading OTWOMD.

    Just for clarification.

    This post is not anti-catholic or anti-incorruptibles. Truth of the matter is, I am just confirming the facts of the incorruptible saints who are actually “incorruptibles” without any aid of external preservatives. I merely corrected the false claims of some bloggers and forum users that the above mentioned saints are incorruptibles wherein they are not, as what the vatican clkaimed on some of them.

    Yet, there are more saints who are authentic in their incorruptibility, some of theme were Jacinta and Francisco Marto of Fatima, St. Charbel of Lebanon and Saints Bernmadette Soubirous and Catherine Laboure of France.

    I hope this clear up things for those who leave comments without first reading the entire post.

    Godbless — Romuald

  7. Claire
    19 August, 2012, 0:34

    You forgot Imelda Lambertini. What many people think is her incorrupt body is actually an effigy. Also, to Rev. C.C. Russell, Francisco Marto was not incorrupt. During the first exhumation of the siblings, he was found to have decomposed.

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