Continuously popular since it first appeared in 1977, The Incorruptibles remains the acknowledged classic on the bodies of Saints that did not undergo decomposition after death, many remaining fresh and flexible for years, or even centuries. After explaining both natural and artificial mummification, the author shows that the incorruption of the Saints' bodies fits into neither category but constitutes a much greater phenomenon unexplained by modern science, even to this day.
Mrs. Cruz presents a chapter on each of 102 canonized Saints, Beati and Venerables, covering their lives, the discovery of their incorruption, investigations by Church and medical authorities, photos where available, and many other remarkable facts associated with their incorrupt bodies. These include heavenly fragrances, the exuding of holy oil and the flow of fresh blood several years after death. Also included here are the stories of Saints whose bodies were found in damp graves, or whose caskets or clothing had deteriorated around their incorrupt bodies, or whose bodies were even buried in lime to hasten decomposition. Among the most famous Saints considered here are St. Cecilia, St. Agatha, St. Albert the Great, St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, St. Clare, Bl. Margaret of Castello, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Rita of Cascia, "San Diego." St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Angela Merici, St. Francis Xavier, St. Louis Bertrand, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Charles Borromeo, St. John of the Cross, St. Pascal Baylon, St. Philip Neri, St. Rose of Lima, St. Frances de Sales, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Andrew Bobola, St. Vincent de Paul, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, The Cure of Ars, St. Catherine Laboure, St. Bernadette Soubirous and St. Charbel Makhouf. Though the bodies of many other holy persons have also been found incorrupt, the author has confined her study to the bodies of canonized Saints and Beati, plus Venerables.
The incorruptibles are a consoling sign of Christ's victory over death, a confirmation of the dogma of the Resurrection of the Body, a sign that the Saints are still with us in the Mystical Body of Christ, as well as a proof of the truth of the Catholc Faith -- for only in the Catholic Church do we find this phenomenon. Thus The Incorruptibles has to be one of the most significant Catholic books of the last 100 years, and a book whos popularity will only increase through time.
Imprimatur: Most Rev. Phillip Hannan, Archbishop of New Orleans, November 19, 1974
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