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St. Leontius (Muri, Switzerland) “One of the most famous of the jewelled skeletons, he was a popular healing saint, and his relic was said to even have the power to raise dead children.”

From the book Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris

The skull of St Benedictus in Muri, Switzerland

malformalady: “ The skull of St Benedictus in Muri, Switzerland Photo credit: Paul Koudounaris ”

In 1578 in Rome were discovered catacombs: in them, skeletons of martyrs that were later on sent across Europe to be adorned with jewels and placed in their designated churches. But where are they know? Art Historian Paul Koudounaris found out for us and told us in a just released book Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints.

- Waldsassen, Germany, detail of St. The Basilika at Waldsassen holds the largest extent collection of presumed skeletons of martyrs from the Roman Catacombs still on display. There are ten ful -

The hand of St Canditus, Irsee, Germany Picture: Paul Koudounaris

Bejewelled and decorated skeletons

A new book reveals the bejewelled and decorated skeletons that have been hidden in churches for more than a century. Photographs by Paul Koudounaris

St. Faustine (Porrentruy, Switzerland) | “She was a popular local patron saint, but her appearance was later found to be too macabre for modern tastes, and she was moved to a storage unit.”

19 Bejeweled Skeletons That'll Blow Your Mind

Faustine (Porrentruy, Switzerland) - “She was a popular local patron saint, but her appearance was later found to be too macabre for modern tastes, and she was moved to a storage unit.

Relic: St Benedictus arrived in Muri, Switzerland, in 1681 Photo: Paul Koudounaris

Only the head of Saint Benedictus – named in honor of Saint Benedict, the patron of the monastery – arrived in Muri, Switzerland, in from "Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs" by Paul Koudounaris

from Heavenly Bodies by Paul Koudounaris

Saint Coronatus joined a convent in Heiligkreuztal, Germany, in - Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs

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Unbelievable Skeletons Unearthed From The Catacombs Of Rome Back in 1578 came the fascinating discovery of a network of labyrinthine tombs, lurking deep beneath the street of Rome. The tombs were home to the decayed skeletons of early Christian martyrs.

St Severina, Roggenburg, Germany Picture: Paul Koudounaris

Bejewelled and decorated skeletons

St Severinus, Kisslegg, Germany, dressed in lace made by local nuns

The ghastly glory of Europe's jewel-encrusted relics

Apparently the skeleton of St Severinus, Kisslegg, Germany, dressed in lace made by local nuns Picture: Paul Koudounaris

In 1578 in Rome were discovered catacombs: in them, skeletons of martyrs that were later on sent across Europe to be adorned with jewels and...

Jewelled skeletons found in Rome catacombs: book and photos - Swide

"reliquary with the remains of St. Giustina". Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Gutenzell.  Photo by Folco Quilici in FMR magazine, 1987.

"Reliquary with the remains of St." Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Gutenzell, Germany. Photo by Folco Quilici in FMR magazine,

Konrad II (Mondsee, Austria) | “A medieval abbot of the town’s monastery, he was so famed that when the fad for decorating skeletons became popularized, his bones were exhumed and decorated in the same style in order to give him prominence.”

19 Bejeweled Skeletons That'll Blow Your Mind

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