Monday, February 3, 2014

Mother Cabrini's Mummy

On a rainy and foggy Saturday, I went to the Washington Heights area of Manhattan, near Ft. Washington and Ft. Tryon Park, to check out the remains of a Catholic saint.

Located just off 190 Street, is the St. Frances X. Cabrini Chapel, which holds the body of the first American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church (in 1946).
Other than containing a mummified corpse, the building itself is no great feat of architecture, nor much of anything of interest, besides a few statues...

...and stained glass.

The body of Frances Xavier Cabrini (aka Mother Cabrini) was exhumed in 1933 (she died in 1917), and seeing it to be almost perfect, the congregation felt it to be a miracle, and placed her within a shrine, which was later re-designed by the architectural firm of De Sina & Pellegrino in 1957.

An interesting item of note is that the head of the good Mother isn’t there anymore, as, when she was sainted, her skull was kept at the wacky Vatican, just as all the noggins of all other saints are.