Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two Hundred Fortieth Pope: Innocent XI - 1 comments

Innocent XI is considered one of the first 'incorrupt' popes. This doesn't mean that he didn't get into the usual kinds of foreign intrigues common to the seventeenth century; 'incorrupt' here refers to a very slow decomposition of the body.* After Innocent's death, they exhumed his body for the beatification process and noticed that the body was very intact. They painted him silver, and he now rests with the two other 'incorrupt' popes, Pius X and John XXIII.

*The whole 'free from decay as a sign of God's blessing' idea is a really interesting one, if theologically shaky. It's much more common in the Russian Orthodox church, although I have no idea why. Dostoevsky uses it to great effect in comparing the deaths of Father Zosima and Ilyusha, and how that affects the faith of the people around them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean they just don't decay?!? That's creepy crazy fantastic... I hope I am incorrupt.

Thursday, 21 June, 2007  

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