Philly's Homegrown Saint

Dylan Thuras is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Dylan is a travel blogger and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Joshua Foer.


If you can't make it to any of the amazing European relics listed below, (compiled by the always awesome Sacred Destinations, which also has a great section on largest Sacred sites in the world) there is Saint on display right here in the states, in Philadelphia the location of our upcoming Atlas tour

Upon his canonization, Saint John Neumann was exhumed and placed on display for worship. First they removed some bones and cut them into small pieces to be set in very small, glass-covered containers - one of which is set in the wooden cross that the priest uses to bless the congregation during devotions. His body was then clothed with Bishop's robes and his face covered in a smooth, white mask mimicking his features. To the side of the Shrine is a small museum dedicated to the life and death of St. John Neumann. This includes old photographs, sculptures, books, jewelry, coffins and especially haunting instruments of self mortification. Behind the alter is St. John Neumann's personal collection of hundreds of relics from saints. These include teeth, bones, skulls and other miscellaneous and fairly unidentifiable bits and pieces.

More on the Shrine of Saint John Neuman on the Atlas, and a link to the Atlas's growing collection of relics.