By Sotiropoulou Ioanna-Maria (class A)
Sicily:a place where mafia and mystery dominate.But what happens below ground?
In the catacombs of all the monasteries sicilian embalmed dead bodiesare located in common view like nowhere else in the world.This tradition began in 1599 and ended in most of the monasteries in 1871. It is amazing how people of different eras are buried side by side. Of course there is a distinction depending on age, sex and social class. But what makes impression is that virgins were buried in separate places since they were symbols of purity within a society of corruption and decay. The most tragic example found in the catacombs is Rozalia Lombardo, a two year old little girl who died of pneumonia in 1920. The sight is so natural that the little girl seems to be asleep. That’s whysheis named as «The Sleeping Beauty«.
But why are the remains of the dead to be publicly viewed? Perhaps the dead are used as the saints, to strengthen the faith of Christians. Or maybe, in this way, they try to show that death is natural and inevitable, therefore we must accept it.
These dead bodies constitute an eternal mystery for us that will always raise questions about death.
Source: National Geographic February 2009