Incorruptible Saints: The Hows and Whys of the Holy Spirit's Power
The hypothesis: The incorrupt bodies of Catholic Saints (currently numbering over one-hundred-fifty) are an example of the instrumentality of water and biological light in sending out (i.e., communicating) the power of the Holy Spirit. The phenomenon of incorruptibility among certain saints occurs when their bodies either entirely, partially, rapidly, slowly, or fully arrest the natural decaying process — even after many centuries. There are three critical components to the instrumentality of created things that are acted upon by the power of the Holy Spirit. They are: structured biological water; sound waves; and organically generated electromagnetic energy. The Holy Spirit gifts incorruptibility to saints in the form of Gratuitous Grace. The prime efficient cause of this phenomenon is efficacious, sanctifying, intimate, and literal (although meta-sense-able) one-flesh relationship (a Covenant of Salt) between Jesus and his saints — i.e., saints whose hearts were especially inflamed with holy desire by the Holy Spirit. Holy desire enflames the spiritual soul with longing for a perfect and complete union with the Resurrected Jesus; a union accomplished by frequently receiving Jesus in the marriage banquet of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-10), i.e., the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the reason why incorruptibility is even possible, but only in the New and fulfilled Covenant of Salt. I am not aware of any deceased person bearing an incorruptible body during the entire span of the Old Covenant of Salt (the Old Covenant).
What Motivates God to Keep the Bodies of Some Saints Incorrupt?
Why is man, who is made in the image and likeness of God, so valuable to Him that He would preserve some of them from bodily corruption? Here are a few quotes from St. Hildegard of Bingen (a Doctor of the Church) informing us of why it is so:
1). In a section titled, “On the sandy globe of the earth and what it signifies” Hildegard tells us, “Of all the strengths of God's creation, Man's is most profound, made in a wondrous way with great glory from the dust of the earth [emphasis SML] and so entangled with the strengths of the rest of creation that he can never be separated from them.”[i] The world, including the earth from which man is made, will be made new—but it will never end. Why? Because man (whose glorified body will still be physical, but not mortal) will live eternally. How do we know? In a prayer that millions of Catholics pray every day, we say: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, world without end. Amen (so be it). Our bodies, made from the dust of the earth, are the new world.2). Man, having been delivered, shines in God, and God in Man; Man, having community in God, has more radiant brightness in Heaven than before. This radiant brightness would not have been so if the Son of God had not put on flesh, for if Man had remained in Paradise, the Son of God would not have suffered on the wood of the cross. But when the wily serpent deceived Man, God was touched by true mercy and ordained that His Only-Begotten would become incarnate in the most pure Virgin.[ii]3). “Therefore, the human form is to be seen in the inmost nature of the Deity [see I AM That I AM], where neither angels nor any other creatures appear; because My Only-Begotten, to redeem the human race, assumed human form in the flesh of a Virgin. And He will carry in His heart those who are with young. How? My Son carries human beings in His blood, and saves them by His five wounds, for whatever sins they have committed by means of their five senses are washed away by supreme justice when they repent; and He carries them so because He was incarnate, and suffered wounds on the cross, and died and was buried, and rose again from the dead.“And He has stretched out His hand to them and drawn them back to Himself. How? When He assumed humanity for them, though they thought they were lost when Adam fell. For My Only-Begotten conquered death, and it could no longer triumph over them; and so He knew them in the power of His glory, and knew that they were to come to Him by the purgation of penance.”[iii]See the full explanation at https://stossbooks.com/incorruptibility-of-saints--how-and-why-page.html
St. Bernadette Soubirous died on April 16, 1879. The photograph above is a view of the shrine in the chapel of the Convent of St Gildard of Nevers, where the body of Marie Bernarde "Bernadette" Soubirous, known as St Bernadette, was transferred to and buried, on February 6, 2015 in Nevers. (Photo credit: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images). Licensed through Getty Images.
For a more comprehensive story explaining the hows and whys of incorruptibility, follow this link: https://stossbooks.com/incorruptibility-of-saints--how-and-why-page.html
[i]. Hildegard of Bingen, Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, ed. Bernard McGinn, trans. Columba Hart and Jane Bishop, The Classics of Western Spirituality (New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 98.
[ii]. Hildegard of Bingen, Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, 87.
[iii]. Hildegard of Bingen, Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, 314