Dead saints, sorta

Every time I enter a church there is the hope that I will be presented with a dead saint in a fancy coffin. You don’t find this that much in France. The Italians do this with more gusto. Perhaps less than the Spanish and certainly less than the Portuguese. But we were able to find some nice ones in Bologna and Venice. Unfortunately none of these had quite made it to sainthood, all of them being only “Blessed” not “Sainted.” And I’m imagining the likelihood of sainthood is not great since most of these people died in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. 

While I didn’t get a picture of it, there is an x-ray of the bones inside the coffin that holds the remains of St Mark in the Basilica San Marco. Apparently he was stolen and re-stolen back and forth between churches who claimed him as a patron so often that his corpse got a little catterwhampus inside the sarcophagus. The x-ray looks like a game of pick up sticks and there is no skull. 

That is something I also like. Cutting people in half, hacking people into pieces, cutting off heads, hands, pulling out bones. Mary Magdalen’s head is interred outside of HyĆ©res where I had my apartment, her body though, is somewhere north in Provence. I like the guy there in the middle who apparently was cut off at the waist. The top half of him plopped there like that for eternity or until Venice sinks.

In the last photo, the space at the bottom of this altar is filled with skulls. Ashish ran off when I showed that to him. Eventually he got used to it. And was up there inspecting and photographing the gruesome but blessed remains with the best of us.