Joan of Arc: Study Finds Sacred Relic Contains Mummy and Cat Bones

For centuries, the Archbishops of Tours (Chinon, France) have protected one of the holiest relics of the Church: the charred bones of Joan of Arc. Kept in a bottle and showing signs of the burning, the bones were a prized possession in France where Joan of Arc is the national heroine. New tests, however, reveal that the bottle contains the bones of a cat and an Egyptian.

The study shows that the bones originated from the 6th to the 3rd century B.C.

The relics were first displayed at a pharmacy in 1867 (not exactly a promising start) with a sign that read: “Remains found under the pyre of Joan of Arc, maiden of Orleans.” That curious beginning did not prevent people from heralding the bone fragments as the actual remains of the saint. (This is why I only get my holy body parts from reputable sanctified bone dealers).

The results will be published in the Forensic Science International journal.
A prior study identified the bones as being a human rib bone and a part of a cat, but supporters immediately argued that a cat may have been thrown into the fire as a symbol of the devil.

The researchers also found a “textile scrap” that may be part of the wrapping of a mummy. Other chemicals found are consistent with Egyptian embalming. Medieval pharmacists would sometime grind up mummy bits to stop things like nose bleeds. A type of mummy’s little helper.

The news that people have been honoring a dead Egyptian and his cat has come as a bit of an unpleasant surprise. However, it has only increased the value of my own display of the unevolved thigh bone of Charles Darwin, which is available to the highest bidder.

For the full story, click here.

9 thoughts on “Joan of Arc: Study Finds Sacred Relic Contains Mummy and Cat Bones”

  1. Rafflaw, sure. I’ll package it as a form of religious speech. For a limited time only, order your very own Hair of the Just and receive free of charge a laminated card bearing the world famous Praying Hands supermimposed on the Lord’s Prayer. Plus, act now and a portion of the purchase price will be donated in your name to the Holy Land Experience.

  2. millsapian87, I had forgotten that verse from Chaucer. Very funny because very true. Many years ago I read a book entitled “A Doctor at Calvary,” by a French physician who had studied the Shroud of Turin using the scientific tests available in his day. He determined the shroud to be authentic, a conclusion we now know was false. Virtually every church in Europe had relics during the Middle Ages, including fragments of the One True Cross. Were they to be actually collected and milled, there would probably be enough lumber to build a full-scale replica of Fort Apache. I suspect that the hierarchy has been aware for centuries that its remnants of Joan of Arc were actually something else. But a saint’s relics were a powerful, visible affirmation of faith for an illiterate medieval peasant. Given Prof. Turley’s interest in legitimate remains of the holy, and my own sainted life, I would be happy to arrange for locks of my hair to be removed upon my demise and made available to Turley bloggers for a modest shipping and handling fee. I cannot guarantee their miraculous properties, however, unless of course someone were to actually place an order.

  3. Chaucer had it right:

    “…And in a bottle had he some pig’s bones.
    But with these relics, when he came upon
    Some simple parson, then this paragon
    In that one day more money stood to gain
    Than the poor dupe in two months could attain.”

    Some things will never change, I suppose.

  4. Marty:

    there are those that see parallels between Osiris and Jesus not least of which are resurrection and eternal life.

  5. Hmmm.. Haven’t miraculous healing powers been attributed to this relic? Does that mean we should worship cats or Osiris? (Don’t ask the cats – we all know what they think).

  6. Egyptian and cat bones? Hmm, methnks, that faith is what ever you need it to be. Every relic has it own sordid history.

  7. Darwin was a pretty smart guy, I am willing to pay at least $7.75 for his thigh. Although I would ask that you mount it in a shadow box with a bronze plaque and have a certificate of authenticity available.

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