THE ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS
THE FAKE SAINTS
In the late 16th or early 17th century, a huge network of tombs was found
in Rome which held the bodies of thousands of supposed Christian martyrs
and saints. The skeletons were excavated, cleaned, and sent to various
churches all around German-speaking Europe to act as replacements for the
thousands of relics lost during the Protestant Reformation.
Often times when these churches would come into possession of of the
bones, they would bring in mediums or nuns to communicate with the spirits
of the saints to determine what pose they'd like to be displayed in and
whether or not they'd like to be bejeweled. Once they were complete, they
were put on display and would occasionally be marched around towns to be
revered by the residents.
The identifications which determined these bones to be those of saints,
done by papal secretaries around the time they were discovered, were
dubious to begin with and were later totally invalidated.
As far as anybody knows, every single one of these fabulous skeletons
could just be a random Roman person.