Saturday, March 3, 2018

Incorrupt slumber of The Saints (Warning: graphic photos)

Incorruptibility is the property of a (usually human) non-decomposed corpse after death, despite not having been embalmed and preserved in any way.

Incorrupt bodies of saints

The Catholic Church, among others, has traditionally considered the cadaverous incorruptibility of certain characters, particularly saints and blessed, as a miraculous sign of his holiness and for this reason there are many corpses called uncorrupted venerated in Catholic shrines. The belief that an uncorrupted body was a sign of divine grace is found in the Western world since at least the Middle Ages.

The idea of the uncorrupted body usually gives rise to the idea that these bodies are kept more or less as they were at the time of death. The corpses are often publicly exposed and they have layers of wax coated to help prevent further deterioration of the corpse led by exposure. Some bodies are exposed in their natural state and the deterioration is appreciable.

There are also incorrupt bodies that have not received any treatment and keep well and others that some parts of their bodies have become corrupted, some parts have endured (the case of St. Anthony of Padua-of which the only remains uncorrupted is the tongue, St. Catherine of Siena, whose head is still preserved without rotting, Santa Margarita - whose brain remains intact).

-There are certain phenomena or characteristics that occur when a body is incorrupt:

  • Odor

The phenomenon, known by the technical name of osmogenesia, consists on the releasing of a nice and soft scent of the mortal body of saints or of the graves where his/her relics lie.

  • Flexibility

The preserved bodies by mummification, whether natural or artificially induced, show no flexibility phenomenon in regular bodies. They are hard and rigid bodies. The stiffening on the members begins within hours of death. Most incorrupt saints don’t suffer this rigidity; they remain flexible for many centuries.

  • Blood

Another phenomenon that defies scientific explanations is the emanation of fresh blood that comes from a good number of these bodies, many years after their death.

  • Oil

In some cases oil flows from the uncorrupted bodies from time to time . It is said that these same oils preserves the body.

There will always be skeptics about this topic, people without faith(not religious faith) on anything. Even if God himself would come down from heaven, this people will still refuse the existence of miracles... even if a miracle punch them in the face (so to speak). It's great to question things ... with an open mind. " What if..." will take our minds to many places.

I mean I believe in miracles, magic and reason, but why be an extremist? All or nothing? Some people question: why these bodies are not in perfect conditions, why some of them have a thin layer of wax, why some of the bodies wear masks if they are Saints!?. The reason is simple; they are delicate bodies. These bodies have been uncorrupted for centuries! Of course that these bodies will start to deteriorate and of course you have to help the bodies to stay in one piece with wax. If you buy a 100 year old antique, you will probably put it in a box or inside a glass cloche/bell glass to preserve it for more centuries, that’s what the church did with the bodies.

I think it’s very important in life to be an open minded person, you have your own beliefs but you have to consider other possibilities. To the people that repeat “Religion is the opium of the people" I say to them: “Hate is the blindness of the people”.  Just because most of these stories are related to the Church, why should non-believers brand them as fake? There are so many mysteries and so many things that mankind ignores ... just because we can't explain it with reason, it doesn't mean it's not real.
 +My question to you is: Do you think this bodies are trying to say something? 

Thank you for reading this post. I hope to read your comments and if you liked it, share it to the world!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Freaks and the circus

A freak show is an exhibition of biological rarities, referred to as "freaks of nature". Typical features would be physically unusual humans, such as those uncommonly large or small, those with both male and female secondary sexual characteristics, people with other extraordinary diseases and conditions, and performances that are expected to be shocking to the viewers. Heavily tattooed or pierced people have sometimes been seen in freak shows, as have attention-getting physical performers such as fire-eating and sword-swallowing acts.

In 1851 the development of the "set-plate" technique enabled photographers to make many prints from one exposure. Human oddities would have carefully posed photos taken and often order thousands of reproductions. They would sometimes write about themselves on the back of the card bragging about their physical attributes or talents. These "carte de visites" were widely collected by Americans and made quite a bit of money for the "freaks" and the owners of freak shows.

Freaks were often perceived as apprehensive, docile and unhappy with their lot in life. In many cases during the Victorian era, nothing could be further from the truth. Many defended themselves against their managers, talking back and demanding raises. As early as 1851, it had become popular to sell trading cards of popular freaks throughout England and the US. Profits from these images went straight into the pockets of the performers themselves, as opposed to the showmen. 

Isaac W. Sprague, the American Human Skeleton, had one of the most successful trading cards. At 5’6”, Sprague weighed only 43 pounds. As he toured with Barnum in the 1860s, he made a good sum of money off of the sale returns from the card. Some of the more willing performers, like Sprague, even penned their own biographies to be published in freak show pamphlets.

I'm dead and I'm here !

The headstone/gravestone marks the place where a grave or tomb is placed. They are traditionally used by most religious people and they became part of the funerary tradition and business. The gravestone is the way a family honors the deceased by putting this eternal memorial on“the last place to rest”. This is a tradition that I think we should keep alive.

Just think about it, from here to a hundred years, future generations will probably find our destroyed coffins, our bodies… bones and wonder if we were male or female?, who we were?, when did we died? and more. Part of the objective of the gravestones is not only for ID purposes (so the family can visit the body without forgetting the place) but because the human being has a fear to be forgotten. For most of us, documentation and a gravestone will be the only proof for the next generation that we existed once upon a time.

Most of the world’s population won’t enjoy a massive popularity, not even in their hometown but we will have a family that will remember and have us present in every important milestone in their life but if we are truly lucky, there will be someone who will want to know more about us even after we are gone.

When people started to make headstone, they started out by making them from simple materials and simple designs with symbolisms. From pieces of stone to carved wood, we manage to level up this important cemetery piece. In the old, old days when body snatching was fashionable; families even built cages on top of the graves.

Headstones nowadays are made from different materials: Fieldstones, Granite, Marble and Slate.  In the beginning all tombs had a stone lid, if the coffin was completely made of stone or not, this stone lid was placed over the grave. Stones were used to mark where a body was buried; they were placed around the grave and just marked with a name or initials (that's sad).

One important element on a headstone is the identification of the deceased person, the day of birth and death, a prayer or specials words by the family, a photo and finally a place to put flowers. Most people decides to put a little fence or something to surround the grave this way other cemetery visitors won’t step on a person’s last resting place.

Having a gravestone was and still is a symbol of wealth, the bigger the better. Some people used to buy expensive material and used designs that become traditional but were very symbolic, like skulls, birds, angels, flowers, praying hands, crosses, etc. The headstone evolved into pieces of art. Big or small, the sculptures that some graves have are beautiful and incredible. If you take a walk on a graveyard you will see sculptures of angels, Saints, hands, books, beds, Greek columns and more.

Sadly there are more and more people going for cremation “Today, nearly all of the deceased receive some sort of burial or cremation even if it is paid for by the state. The cost of land and the current overcrowding in cemeteries, along with changes in perception, have made people consider cremation.  Cremations are less expensive than the cost of caskets and plots.” -247wallst

 I say sadly because XXI century people are opposite to the way The Victorians were during the 1800’s (Click to read more) ; people now hate death, they don’t want to talk about it, it’s scary and a morbid issue that shouldn’t be a topic of conversation…at all! So with that mindset, the sooner a body goes underground and if people don’t have to deal with a corpse THE BETTER! Cremation means that families won’t have to set a foot on a graveyard and that means that there will be one less proof of a person existing or worst; the neglect of cemeteries. Let’s face it, yes…we will have photos, facebook profiles and documents but none of them will truly express the love of a mourning family for the decease the way a headstone does. It will have a direct effect on people's way to see death; probably it will make people colder. Where our feelings will go if we cannot mourn in a place made for that?

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