On Relics

27 02 2009


At this time, [Giovanni Castoldi] requested for his personal use one of the skulls of S. Orsola’s virgins as well as twenty-four teeth “in order to make a corona of gold”… Corona in this case might refer to either a necklace or a rosary. The fact that modern audiences might find it hard to imagine the highest-ranking religious official in Milan wearing a necklace or using a rosary made out of human teeth is an indication of how different our attitudes have become from those that prevailed in the Counter-Reformation Church.

-Michael P. Carroll, Veiled Threats: The Logic of Popular Catholicism in Italy