The jewels of the saints

After the Reformation, many Catholics were depressed about the loss of relics of their saints. In the 16th century thousands of skeletons were taken from the catacombs in Rome, bedecked with jewels, and distributed throughout Europe. A slideshow of jeweled saints, photographed by art historian Paul Koudounaris, is online.

The photos are from a book by Koudounaris entitled Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris.