One of the hoary, ridiculous allegations against the Medieval era, is the supposed 'superstition' of the people. You can't pick up a 'history' book, revisionist of course, without the mention of the 'gullibility' of the average Medieval, their inclination to 'believe anything', their obsession with 'magic', and the inanity of 'relic worship'.
Such charges are premised on ignorance and a secular theology which only accepts the material, denies the immaterial including the soul, but believes in the magic of molecules becoming men; fish fins turning into legs; plant food black occultism generating climate and the unfathomable complexity of life and the universe, fashioned by random chaos and dark forces of evolving 'laws'. The modern obsession with itself and its own 'technology' is a sure sign of deep psychosomatic illness.
Who is more illiterate, prone to 'obsessions' and the veneration of 'relics' - the Medieval or the Modern ? The latter is of course.
Incorrupted bodies still exist, some have lasted 1000 or more years. The Catholic Medieval, knew of these natural, non-decomposing, and unputrefied bodies and rationally understood their power, their symbolism and their connection with God and the immaterial. Of course they would be venerated. And yes frauds of these relics were sold and marketed. Copies were made. Cathedrals and other pilgrimage sites attempted to 'cash in', on the real incorrupted bodies of Saints through false relic manufacture and marketing. But the fact remains – the incorrupted bodies were real and are still present today.
Unfortunately the Protestants in Europe burnt and destroyed many of the incorruptibles, their sloganeering stating that idols cannot be worshipped – unless the idol was the state, the King, Luther, Calvin, or violence. In spite of the Protestant intolerance and hate, many relics did survive and have remained flexible, soft, and some still emit oils and a perfume. A few pass blood. The best book on this topic is the classic by Joan Cruz, 'The Incorruptibles'.
Hundreds of bodies of Saints have been identified as incorrupted – not mummified, not embalmed, not covered by some 'special Church potion of evil black magic' to keep the tissue soft – but simply and naturally, sometimes in the worst possible conditions, incorrupted. It is an issue 'science' refuses to address. Many of the incorrupteds have been investigated by 'science', who has no explanation for their state. You will never hear about such topics in 'science journals', education or the media of course, unless it is a sneering condemnation. But then again, 'science' is not really the independent seeking of truth as it once was, it is the erection and support of a certain secular-state theology.
A list of Incorrupted Saints many of whom you can still see today is here. Good books on the same is here. All have been investigated by 'science' and anti-Church bigots and cranks. None can be explained except by the simple truth that the miraculous does exist.
One Saint, Vincent de Ferrer, the taciturn Catalonian friar, in the late 14th and early 15th century, performed so many miracles of healing and grace, that over 30.000 Moslems and Jews converted in Moslem Spain after hearing him preach and seeing his powers of healing. He brought at least 28 people back from the dead. The witnesses to his works, numbered in the tens of thousands. The Church and various secular states charged him with fraud and sundry crimes. He was exonerated, with 5 massive volumes of proof and testimony supporting his many thousands of performed miracles. There simply was no explanation for Ferrer's deeds, other than the admission that the world consists of far more than just the material.
“The inquiry set on foot at Vannes for the process of his canonization brought to light an incredible mass of miraculous happenings, sudden conversions, cures, apparitions, and a surprising number of resurrections from the dead. Falls, drownings, murderous assaults, illnesses – he intervened in all and was always being invoked.
Petition for his [Ferrer's] canonization was universal and immediate from kings, bishops, universities, nobles and peasantry. Pope Nicholas V issued a bull to inquire into the life, heroic sanctity and miracles of Saint Vincent. The Duke of Brittany even levied a tax to defray expenses for the process.
According to Vincent's own prophecy, Alphonsus Borgia who was elected to the Papacy and became Callixtus III, did indeed canonize him. The canonization was held on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, 1455, in the Dominican Church of Rome, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The body was found to be incorrupt on that day. During the Mass of canonization, two dead persons were covered with the cloak in which Saint Vincent had been buried. They were both restored to life. Also, the Duke of Brittany's relative was cured of leprosy that day and a blind man was restored to sight.
Fifty years after St. Vincent's death, a boy of twelve, Juan de Zuniga, died at Placenzia. A prayer to St. Vincent brought him back to life. He lived to be Cardinal Archbishop of Seville.”
In an age that worships itself, its 'science' much of which is storytelling, its technological deeds most of which are based on the inventions and discoveries of past generations and centuries, its civilization which grew out of Catholic Medieval Europe; the Medieval invocation of 'miracles' becomes wrongly associated with child-like innocence, naivety, or ignorance. There is nothing naïve about tens of thousands of people who saw Ferrer perform miraculous works, nor of the millions who have seen throughout the centuries the soft, flexible tissue of Saints, whose bodies should have been putrefied after 3 months, but have lasted hundreds of years. Miracles of healing from the incorruptibles, their bodies, shrines and in some cases, springs of water which appeared where no spring had existed at the shrine of the Saint, are still going on today.
One has to wonder about the modern age of narcissism and cultural blindness. The Medieval was certainly intelligent, more so in many ways than the modern. They had to be. They lived in harsher times, trying to survive, create, invent and promote civilization in every aspect of life from art to war, from writing and universities to cathedrals and water mills; from poetry to blast furnaces, from true science and advanced geometry, to mining and capitalism. To denigrate what one can see today – bodies that are incorrupt – is to place the mantle of ignorance, stupidity and sloth squarely on the shoulders of the Modern. Disavowing your past in your zeal to promote yourself, is unworthy and in the end, catastrophic.