>So my penultimate afternoon in Italy was spent looking at relics. Dr. P, Dr. H, and I went to two churches, Il Gesú and Chiesa Nouva. The only really interesting things were at Il Gesú, so I’ll spare everyone the other details and pictures.

Il Gesú was loaded with relics. This is one of the reliquary cabinets. Here is another one of the displays loaded with relics of all sorts. Most fascinating! A close up on one of the relics reveals a scary skeletal hand. Despite the cache of relic treasures, Il Gesú is best known for the tomb of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Across from the tomb, is the best relic I have ever laid my heretic eyes on. It is the arm of St. Francis Xavier, protégé of St. Ignatius Loyola! St. Francis Xavier is credited with converted over 10,000 untouchables in India when he went there as a missionary in the 1540s. Depsite his death over 400 years ago, his arm remains impressively pulpy. (I guess all those Baptisms can really preserve a body part.) I asked Dr. P if she thought she could surgically reattach it to another body since it was in such good condition, but she looked at me like I was insane and started backing away a bit. Sometimes I really think I missed my calling as a coroner. I knew that I should have paid attention to math an science all those years ago…

Comment