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A physics web site has an item about a Greek Orthodox monk whose body was found to be incorrupt fifteen years after his death.

We may have a case of incorruption here in Boston too: a 25-year-old priest named Patrick Power died of consumption in 1869, but when some healings were reported through his intercession in 1929, a million visitors thronged to his grave until the site was closed by order of Cardinal O'Connell.

88-year-old Fr. Bernard Shea was 12 years old at the time, and related the events in a lecture at my parish Sunday: the body was relocated to a nearby site in the same cemetery, and placed under a new monument surrounded by an iron fence. During the transfer, the body was found to be intact, though the simple casket containing it had long decayed.

Pilgrims still come to Fr. Power's grave to pray and ask for prayers.

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I've often wondered what it is that God tries to teach us by the mystery of incorruptibility.

There was a saint on the Bob & Penny Lord show on EWTN tonight: Margaret of Cataldo. Her body lies in view under an altar somewhere in Italy.

Surely, it's confidence in the pledge of resurrection. But it seems only Catholic & Orthodox saints exhibit this phenomena. Every time I hear about an incorrupt saint, I think of the Lord's words "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life within you."

What other things exhibit incorruptibility? Certain Eucharistic miracles. The tilma of Guadalupe. The shroud, maybe. Just those and saints and parts of saints, like Januarius' blood.

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on March 13, 2006 4:08 PM.

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