Something that I have found to be extremely interesting is the phenomenon of incorruptibility. It seems that when the bodies of certain holy people are exhumed, their corpses have not undergone the natural process of decay that occurs with most human bodies. Some saints are found to be completely intact, untouched by the elements. They look as though they just died yesterday, or that they are only sleeping. One of the most amazing examples is Bernadette Soubirous. She was born on January 7, 1884 in Lourdes, France. She is said to have had 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. She died rather young, in 1879. Her body was first exhumed on September 22, 1909. It was found to be completely incorrupt. This is what she looked like just before she was buried:
Padre Pio is another saint whose body was found mostly incorrupt. He was a capuchin friar in Italy who had the wounds of Christ. He died in 1968. When his body was exhumed a few years ago for the fortieth anniversary of his death, it was found to be remarkably preserved. His beard still hung from his chin, and fingernails were still present. A wax mask was made for his face to cover a portion of the forehead where the skull was showing, in order to present the body for viewing. Here are some amazing pictures:
We don’t know the reason God has had in allowing this phenomenon. I believe that He may have allowed this to increase our faith. I believe that these miracles may also be a testament to these people’s holiness, that God would not allow their bodies to be touched by decay like the rest of us. I guess we won’t know for sure until we get to heaven!