Saturday, May 10, 2008

Should Pier Giorgio's Body Be Displayed?

By now, you have heard the news that the mortal remains of Pier Giorgio, found to be perfectly incorrupt in 1981, will be present in Sydney, Australia, for this summer's World Youth Day festivities. Ever since the news was announced, a lot of people have asked if his body will be able to be seen. The answer is no; his body will be in a traditional, closed coffin. This disappoints some people and relieves others. I'm not sure how I really feel about it. One of my greatest devotions is to St. Bernadette, the Lourdes visionary. When I finally had the opportunity to visit her convent in Nevers, France, and pray before her beautiful, incorrupt body, it was a tremendous experience. I could have spent days there. On the other hand, I have been in many churches in Italy where bodies of saints are encased in glass beneath altars and some of them are less inspiring. The recent display of the body of St. Pio is drawing incredible numbers of people. But to some, this is all just a morbid, antiquated practice. What do YOU think? Take the survey and let us know.

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