From LEAVES, July/August 1979. "WHEN FAITH DEFEATS DEATH. Man must die -
not even Christ, the Perfect Man, was spared that.
"Christ's followers, the saints, are singular proof that death is not a
transition: the miracles they worked on earth are merely multiplied from
heaven. And - to the perplexity of skeptics and science itself - the bodies
they left behind often remain incorrupt for centuries.
"Take, for example, St. Guthlac, an Anglo-Saxon monk who died in 714. A
miracle heralded his birth, and a strange light attended his death. The
records show that when his coffin was opened - before a vast assemblage of
ecclesiastics - his body was completely intact, even the joints of his
limbs pliant and flexible.
"St. Catherine Laboure died on December 31, 1876. When her tomb was
opened on March 23, 1933, observers found the coffin of wood has
disintegrated but the body of the saint was perfectly intact.
"Take St. Rita. The intact body of `the Saint of Impossible and
Desperate Cases' is still on display in Cascia, Italy. St. Rita died in
1457. As Joan Carroll Cruz tells us in a well-documented book, THE
INCORRUPTIBLES, `Her body has shifted positions several times, plus the
eyes have opened and closed unaided.'
"A Lebanese monk, St. Charbel Maklouf, died in 1898, and his incorrupt
body continues to ooze sweat and sometimes blood; at his tomb miracles are
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