Saturday, April 25, 2009

From Rome: St. Giovanni Leonardi...

St. John Leonardi
1541 - 1609
Founder of the Order of the Mother of God
Co-founder of the Propaganda Fide
Patron of Pharmacists


Anonymous said...

I think their formal title is "Clerics Regular of the Mother of God", and they have about 85 members world-wide.
Not a big group at all. Never was.

Hopefully a solid and traditional one.

Mark said...

That's amazing... but, is that a dummy, or has he been embalmed? It's just he looks a bit like a mannequin (forgive my ignorance!). God bless.

Anonymous said...

It is a new statue.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, when a Saints' body has decomposed somewhat (not entirely but to the point where it would not be attractive to display the remains), the religious Order to which the Saint belonged either replaces the body with a statue (and re-buries the body), or they put a thin coating of wax over the exposed parts of the body, making a lifelike mask for the face, or covering the hands.
Many Saints bodies have held up well. But some like St. Catherine Laboure, St. Pius X, and those who are not Saints, like Blessed John XXIII have masks on their face which are lifelike, but they otherwise have decomposed alittle.
UNfortunatly, St. Therese of Liseux totally decomposed, and there is only a shrine with her bones.
But I remember reading a story of a great Italian sculptor during the time of the great Gianlorenzo Bernini (1600's in Rome), who was present at the solemn ceremonies when the body of St. Cecilia (died, in the 180's AD in the Roman Empire), was exhumed and venerated. Everyone was amazed that the body of this young girl, dead 1,400 years, was still basically incorrupt and that the wounds of her martyrdom (three deep cuts in her neck), were still visible.
That latest exhumation of St. Cecilia was done around 1620, so I don't know the state of her body now, some 380 years later. But a statue over her tomb in Rome shows exactly what the artist in 1620 saw. He carved it from his own experience.
The two thing I think are wrong (and entirely gruesome and disgusting), is to hack apart a Saint's body and display their head in one Church, their arm in another, and their tongue in still a third (like they did with St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Anthony of Padua) Or to display a Saint when they have dried out and turned brown and now look like an ancient Egyptian mummy), like they do with St. Catherine of Genoa, etc.