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Joined: Sep 2013
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Mark R Offline OP
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http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/91288.htm

I found this account more valuable than other sources I have encountered.

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In the end it will be the personal testimonies, which the author of the cited post presents, that will speak more than the state of a corpse. To me the life a person lived, the influence that life had on others - and through them the Church will aid us in the pursuit of glorification.

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Mark:

I took a careful look at the pictures presented at the link. There is a comment from one person who thinks the remains are already corrupt.

As one who has been around the dead for just shy of 50 years, I humbly offer my opinion that he/she is off base. Somewhere in the link(s) it was mentioned that His Eminence reposed in the Texas heat for 5 days unembalmed. In my experience that would have made the funeral itself unbearable. I refer to Pope Paul VI's funeral in the late 1970's. His Holiness was reposed at the papal summer residence for a few days and then taken to Rome--all in the summer. Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia was reported to have tried to kneel at the bier in Rome for a prayer and reported that he was off the kneeler in a split second because the stench coming from the remains was so overpowering one could not draw a breath.

My experience--not at all the only one or all-conclusive--is that human remains decompose rather rapidly in high heat and humidity. There is little to keep that from happening. Even an embalmed remains will start to become dehydrated rather quickly and needs to have constant attention if one is reposed for five days after death in the type of environment that was reported (a Texas summer at 105 degrees F), even if one has very strong air conditioning which itself will aid in rapid dehydration.

From what I can see--and I, too, have seen quite a few disinterred remains--it would seem that the only thing that has happened is a bit of the normal moisture in the surface tissue has moved out of the remains of His Eminence. That hardly seems to me to be decomp of the type one would normally expect. If one looks at the finger tips in both the funeral and disinterment photos you can see what I mean.

If one takes the yardstick that an embalmed remains will normally be reduced to little more than skeletal remains after 12 years, these pictures would seem to show a miracle has occurred. I would normally have expected a wooden casket to be in pieces in that vault and the remains in rather nasty shape.

Bob

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Mark R Offline OP
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I am not normally the kind who goes into this kind of phenomena...It is reported that even though St. John of San Francisco is incorrupt, his eyes were sunken in...and I wouldn't expect an incorrupt body to be dewey-fresh. I really don't like to dwell on these things, but where sanctity is involved I think it is a cause for notice.


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