Relics of saint and holy people have always been an integral part of Christianity. There was a time when bones, skins, fingernails, severed heads and even entire bodies of saints were preserved and cherished by the populace. But when the Protestant Revolution gripped Europe in the early 16th century, thousands of these relics were destroyed. The iconoclastic behavior was the most fervent in Northern Europe, especially in Germany, where many Catholic churches were plundered, vandalized and outright destroyed. Decades later when the Catholics resurged in response to the Reformation violence, many of the churches sought to replace the sacred relics they lost. But where were they going to find more dead saints? A chance discovery in Rome provided the answer.
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