Crazy! Incredible skeletal remains of Catholic saints

Discussion in 'New and Current Affairs' started by Mabsoot, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Mabsoot
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    Mabsoot Amir Staff Member

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    Assalamu alaykum, this was in the news today. SubhanAllah, people venerated these dead as "saints", prayed to them. What is wrong with just praying to Allah alone? :/ Shaitan really tricks people.

    Incredible skeletal remains of Catholic saints still dripping in gems and jewellery discovered by 'Indiana Bones' explorer

    • Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted them down in secret Catholic vaults
    • Said to be remains of Catholic martyrs dug up from Roman catacombs
    • They were sent to churches to replace relics destroyed in Reformation
    • Some took up to five years to decorate in gold, silver and gemstones
    • But none were actually canonised, so many have been stripped of honours
    A relic hunter dubbed 'Indiana Bones' has lifted the lid on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe.

    Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of gruesome skeletons in some of the world's most secretive religious establishments.

    Incredibly, some of the skeletons, said to be the remains of early Christian martyrs, were even found hidden away in lock-ups and containers.


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    St Valerius in Weyarn: Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of gruesome skeletons in some of the world's most secretive religious establishments

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    St Albertus and St Felix: Incredibly, some of the skeletons, said to be the remains of early Christian martyrs, were even found hidden away in lock-ups and containers

    They are now the subject of a new book, which sheds light on the forgotten ornamented relics for the first time.

    Thousands of skeletons were dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in towns around Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican.

    They were sent to Catholic churches and religious houses to replace the relics destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.


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    St Benedictus: Thousands of skeletons were dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in towns around Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican


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    Spooky: St Deodatus in Rheinau, Switzerland (left) and St Valentinus in Waldsassen (right). The skeletons were sent to Catholic churches and religious houses to replace the relics destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s


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    St Getreu in Ursberg, Germany: Mistaken for the remains of early Christian martyrs, the morbid relics, known as the Catacomb Saints, became shrines reminding of the spiritual treasures of the afterlife

    Mistaken for the remains of early Christian martyrs, the morbid relics, known as the Catacomb Saints, became shrines reminding of the spiritual treasures of the afterlife.

    They were also symbols of the Catholic Church's newly found strength in previously Protestant areas.

    Each one was painstakingly decorated in thousands of pounds worth of gold, silver and gems by devoted followers before being displayed in church niches.

    Some took up to five years to decorate.


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    St Friedrich at the Benedictine abbey in Melk, Austria: They were also symbols of the Catholic Church's newly found strength in previously Protestant areas


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    Long dead: The hand of St Valentin in Bad Schussenreid, Germany (left) and St Munditia, in the church of St Peter in Munich (right). By the 19th century they had become morbid reminders of an embarrassing past and many were stripped of their honours and discarded

    They were renamed as saints, although none of them qualified for the title under the strict rules of the Catholic church which require saints to have been canonised.

    But by the 19th century they had become morbid reminders of an embarrassing past and many were stripped of their honours and discarded.

    Mr Koudounaris' new book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, is the first time the skeletons have appeared in print.



    Mr Koudounaris, from Los Angeles, said: 'I was working on another book looking into charnel houses when I came across the existence of these skeletons.

    'As I discovered more about them I had this feeling that it was my duty to tell their fascinating story.


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    Lounging louche: aSt Vincentus' ribs are exposed beneath a web of golden leaves In Stams, Austria. Mr Koudounaris' new book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, is the first time the skeletons have appeared in print


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    Adorned: St Luciana (right) arrived at the convent in Heiligkreuztal, Germany and was prepared for display by the nuns in Ennetach. The identity of the skull on the left is unknown



    'After they were found in the Roman catacombs the Vatican authorities would sign certificates identifying them as martyrs then they put the bones in boxes and sent them northwards.

    'The skeletons would then be dressed and decorated in jewels, gold and silver, mostly by nuns.

    'They had to be handled by those who had taken a sacred vow to the church - these were believed to be martyrs and they couldn't have just anyone handling them.

    'They were symbols of the faith triamphant and were made saints in the municipalities.

    'One of the reasons they were so important was not for their spiritual merit, which was pretty dubious, but for their social importance.

    'They were thought to be miraculous and really solidified people's bond with a town. This reaffirmed the prestige of the town itself.'

    He added: 'It's impossible to put a modern-day value on the skeletons.'

    Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs is published by Thames and Hudson.

    Source: DailyMail.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
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  2. Hajjerr
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    Hajjerr He is Dhul-Jalali Wal-Ikram

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    Salam aleikum
    This gems could feed a country.
    Strange how sane and mature people can have such obsessions with shiny glittery objects.
    May Allah give us honorable lives and deaths.
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  3. Abu Loren
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    Abu Loren Defender of Islam!

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    Honourable thing to do is sell all the jewellery and give the proceeds to charities and bury the skeletal remains so the dead can rest in peace until the Day of Qiyamah.
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  4. Mabsoot
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    The Skull Cathedral of Otranto

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  5. Janaan
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    Janaan ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا Staff Member

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    Laa hawla wa laa quwwata ilaa billlah. How can you worship those creepy looking things?
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  6. AyeshaPS
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    AyeshaPS A Mu'minah Wannabe!

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  7. Seeking Allah's Mercy
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    Seeking Allah's Mercy Qul HuwaAllahu Ahud!

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    Assalamo`Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

    I was going to totally avoid this thread. The materialism and emptiness associated with those pics really disgusted me. I just thought I'd respond now that you've tagged.

    May Allah have Mercy on us and forgive us, and let us die as Muslims and raise us as His honored slaves. Ameen.

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