Now what about the preserved corpse of a saint that supposedly “blinked” at a visitor and camera recently? Creepy or holy (or a hoax)?
It has to do with St. Inocencia, allegedly killed by a father who (details on the saint are very uncertain) was enraged when she embraced the Catholic faith, receiving First Communion. That was three centuries ago.
Originally in Rome, perhaps in the catacombs, her body was exhumed in 1786 and acquired by a wealthy priest, the remains later brought to the Cathedral of Guadalajara in Mexico. At least, that’s one account.
The London Mirror — which made much of it, as did other newspapers, last week — described a video clip of what occurred not so much as holy as “terrifying,” reporting that the corpse “bares her eyes for the first time in centuries during a film made by a visitor to the Cathedral of Guadalajara in Mexico, where she is kept. The corpse, which has been preserved in wax, looks straight into the camera during the eerie moment.”
Added a website called Little Things: “The short clip — which purports she has come ‘back from the dead — has gone massively viral with more than 800,000 YouTube views. While some viewers believe it’s a haunting display of paranormal activity, others say it’s all a cleverly designed hoax. One commentator says, ‘If you zoom in you can see he edited the image, the eyes are fake.’ Another writes, ‘Yes, it looks like her eyes open towards the end of the video but how can it be possible?'”
Now let’s be blunt. This is either a flagrant stunt; a holy miracle, remarkable even by the standards of miracles (the saint giving a sign); or a trickster (spirit) using the situation to freak visitors out.
The cathedral, it’s noted by another outlet, Latinflyer.com, is home to various altars, as well as the remains of three cardinals and multiple bishops (there’s even the heart of a Mexican president here).
“But it’s the mummified remains of one little girl — known only as Santa Inocencia, or Saint Innocence — who attracts the most curious gazes, as well as some of the most passionate prayers from visitors,” it says. “The glass case containing her body, located near the front entrance of the church, never fails to attract attention.”
As it turns out, the true story behind how Santa Inocencia arrived to rest publicly in Guadalajara’s cathedral is very much open to debate.
According to one legend, when her father disappeared, neighbors discovered her body and carried it to the cathedral. By this rendition, she apparently was a local girl, still wearing the white dress for her First Communion.
“Another story — the one told on the small sign in the cathedral — claims that the remains of the little girl were taken out of a cemetery in Rome in 1786, and sent in 1788 to Don Vicente Flores Alatorre, a Catholic church dignitary who taught divinity at the Guadalajara cathedral,” says Latinflyer.com.
“Flores gave the remains to the Augustinas de Santa Monica convent in Guadalajara. After the convent shut down, the diocesan seminary began using the facility in 1869, and seminary members found the little girl’s remains in the chapel.
“The seminary was evicted and moved to the San Sebastián de Analco temple in 1915, taking Santa Inocencia along to the new location. When the seminarians were kicked out of that site too, in 1924, the Archbishop D. Francisco Orozco y Jiménez decided that the body should be moved to the Guadalajara cathedral. Santa Inocencia took her current place in the cathedral in 1925.”
In another version, she was tortured and killed by Roman Legionnaires when Christianity started to rise in Europe.
Let’s just stick with the official historical accounts of this holy child and leave it and her body, however it got there, in the trustworthy hands of the Church…
[Footnote: Was this other case explained? From i09 Future:
One of the world’s best preserved mummies, Rosalia is the most famous among some 8,000 thousands mummies lining the catacombs beneath the Capuchin convent in Palermo, Sicily. In Siciliy, there’s a very spooky mummy of a girl who died in 1920. Occasionally, she can be seen to open and close her eyes. Italian researchers now say there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation — and it has nothing to do with her being among the undead.]