Originally published on Aleteia, republished with their permission.
Typically, after death a human body decomposes and returns to “dust.” This is the natural course of events on earth, but on occasion this does not always happen the way it should.
In fact, there are numerous instances where the body of a saintly individual will be found “incorrupt,” with limited or no sign of decomposition. In these cases nature has been “suspended” and the supernatural takes over.
The Catholic Church has recognized that on rare occasions certain bodies of saints have not suffered the process of decomposition. This is deemed a miraculous event and is most dramatic in cases where the saint has been buried for decades or centuries and their body remains fully intact. A saint’s body is always investigated before they are canonized and even though the ultimate decision to canonize someone does not rest on incorruptibility, it certainly helps the cause.
According to Father William Saunders, this incorruptibility “remains a sign of the holiness of the life of the individual” and “is indicative of the person’s mortal remains being prepared for the glorious resurrection of the body.”
Here are seven such saints (including the remarkable Blessed Imelda Lambertini) whose physical bodies remain fully or partially intact, defying the natural order of this world.