Wednesday, December 30, 2015

THE INCORRUPTIBLES - PART I (2010)

As a pentecostal convert to Catholicism, I have embraced hundreds of teachings and practices of the Church. One of the most mystical and interesting facets of this beautiful faith is that of the Incorruptibles. I want to run a series of posts on some of the 250 incurruptible saints. I hope you will enjoy this series of posts. Let's begin with a brief introduction taken from the Catholic Apologetics.
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The incorrupt bodies of these saints are simply a living witness or proof to the truth of the Catholic religion as the one true faith from God, who has confirmed the testimony of the Church in the great miracles he has worked through it's saints.
The Council of Trent: 
"The bodies of holy martyrs and others now living with Christ, bodies which were His members and temples of the Holy Spirit, which one day are to be raised up by Him and made glorious in everlasting life, are to be venerated by the faithful; God gives men many benefits through them."
The Bodies of the saints for us are like great and holy relics, which move us to honor the saints who God has chosen to honor by preserving them incorrupt.

In scripture we read that the use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life:
"So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet." (2 Kgs. 13:20-21).
A woman was cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matt. 9:20-22). The sick were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16).
"And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).
The Power of the relics to work miracles doesn't come from the object itself but from God, who confirms the faith of the person who is healed by means of them as to testify to the holiness of His saints.

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Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Bernadette, born in 1844 of very poor parents in the town of Lourdes, France, spent most of her childhood in poor health. As she grew older, she was very slow at her studies and lost much school time due to severe asthma attacks. On February 11, 1858, when Bernadette was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, she saw a very beautiful Lady standing above a rose bush in a grotto at Massabielle. The lovely Lady, dressed in blue and white, smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her own rosary, and began to pray. The beautiful Lady was God’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to Bernadette during seventeen other apparitions; and during one of the last of these appearances, she instructed Bernadette to go further into the grotto and begin digging in the dirt with her hands. At first nothing happened; but soon the miraculous fountain, now known as the “Fountain of Lourdes,” began to flow forth from the ground where Bernadette had dug.

At the age of twenty-two, Bernadette became a Sister of Charity at Nevers, France. Although besieged by many of the faithful, she sought God in the silence of the cloister, serving Him in humility under the vows of her profession as a Sister of Charity. She lived in the convent for thirteen years, spending a large portion of this time ill in the infirmary. When a fellow nun accused her of being a “lazybones,” Bernadette said, “My job is to be ill.”

Sister Bernadette died on the 16th of April in 1879. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1933, Bernadette was canonized, thus fulfilling the promise that the Blessed Mother had made to her in 1858: “I do not promise to bring you happiness in this world, but in the next.”


St. Bernadette’s body, which to this day has never corrupted, lies in St. Gildard Convent in Nevers, France. After having been exhumed three times, her body was discovered to have slightly discolored in places; and in l925 an extremely light wax covering was made for her face and hands.

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