Holy Bodies

One of the peculiarities of St. Blaise are the mummified bodies of saints. Behind the main altar lie the preserved bodies of three saints – St. Leon Bembo (+1188), St. John Olini (+1300) and St. Nicoloza Bursa(+1512). Smaller undecomposed parts of saints' bodies are also kept here: torso of St. Sebastian (+282), foot of St. Barbara (+288.), tongue of St. Mary of Egypt (+522) and the right index finger of the Patriarch of Constantinople St. Eutychius (+582). The Vodnjan parish church keeps altogether 370 registered relics or earthly remains of 250 saints. An undisputable scientific explanation of their preservation has not yet been found; it is supposed that the body can remain preserved for so long under certain circumstances: in low temperature, if death occurred due to arsenic poisoning or if the body was buried in soil rich with iron and tannin. St. Leon Bembo, St. John Olini and St. Nicoloza Bursa were proclaimed saints via facti, therefore after it was proven that they were meritorious for numerous healings.

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