Bones with Bling: The Amazing Skeletons of the Roman Catacombs
Way back towards the end of the Middle Ages, 1578 to be exact, came the fascinating discovery of a network of weaving and winding labyrinthine tombs, lurking deep beneath the street of Rome. These holy tombs were the final resting place to the decayed skeletons of early Christian martyrs – believed not only to be martyrs but to be saints as well, on account of their bravery and unyielding support of Christian doctrine.
Many of these skeletons (given the name ‘The Catacomb Saints’ by those who first discovered them) were then distributed across Europe as replacements for the long list of holy relics which had been smashed, stolen or destroyed during the chaos of the Protestant Reformation.
Once delivered, each skeleton was then clothed and adorned into a variety of precious jewels, expensive cloth, crowns, armour and even given wigs. They were put on display inside many different churches as a reminder to all who came to see them, for the riches and wealth that awaited them post death – providing they swore allegiance to the Christian faith.
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