st zita the incorruptible

in case my post about bog mummies didn’t tip  you off, i’m kiiind of into mummies.  one of my favourites is st zita.

although i am not into organised religion, for some reason zita just tugged my heartstrings.  she’s a patron saint of domestic workers & you can appeal to her to help find your lost keys.  she was exhumed 308 years after her death and found to be incorrupt.  the incorruptibles are a class of catholic saints whose bodies were naturally mummified by their surroundings.  to medieval believers, this was a sign of saintliness.  st zita’s body is on display in the basilica of san frederino in lucca, italy.  sadly, i did not make it to italy on my recent eurodyssey so i didn’t get to see one of my favourite mummies, but…someday!  unlike many of the incorruptible saints, who are displayed with wax coverings over their hands and face, disguising any decay or changes caused by mummification, zita is shown in her natural state.

so what was i to do but to make a shadowbox featuring this mummy-saint?  i love mummies and religious art and kitsch so really i had no choice in the matter.  i sewed one piece up in 2009 but wasn’t satisfied with it.  here is the 2011 incarnation of st zita. i found inspiration from russian and hindu religious art, and sewed in some spanish milagros medals i bought in san diego. if/when i can find rosettes small enough to tuck around the edge of the box without interfering with the design, i will add them, otherwise this piece is finished.

st zita, with an orchid, pysanka, coin bank, etc.

st zita with angels and milagros

the angels are holding mistletoe and an acorn, both symbolizing immortality.


2 thoughts on “st zita the incorruptible

  1. I’m from Italy and maybe the mummies are the only incorruptible people down here… argh! Fortunately we have a lot of mummies, have you ever heard about Roccapelago,Venzone, Ferentillo, Urbania or even Palermo?

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