Starting in the 16th century, bodies of martyred Christians were exhumed from the Roman catacombs and sent to churches throughout Christendom. Their remains functioned as holy relics, physical items that individuals could worship, venerate, and honor as part of their expression of faith.
While many of these so-called "saints" may not have gone through the official steps to being recognized as a saint (the Catholic Church has a multifaceted, yet fairly modern, process for such things), their importance to the local culture cannot be understated. The bodies of Catacomb Saints are decorated with gold, jewels, and other items, attesting to their glory and sacrifice, while simultaneously honoring the rite of passage that is death.
Often referred to as Catacomb Saints, the bodies of the men and women who perished centuries ago are part of the Catholic worship. The preserved saints' bodies are largely located in churches in Central and Eastern Europe, sites where Protestantism threatened Catholicism's stronghold during the 16th century and beyond. The Catholic relics are fascinating and a bit macabre, yet hauntingly beautiful, as well. Vote up the ones that are engrossing (and maybe a little gross) to you, too.
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Saint Candidus - Irsee Abbey (Bavaria)
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Unidentified Remains - The Catacombs Of Pancratius
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Saint Victoria - Engelszell Monastery Church (Austria)
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Unidentified Remains - Waldsassen Abbey (Germany)