Scientists have confirmed the age of one of the relics of St. Francis

© Flickr / Randy Unsweaty Francis Assizsky. Stained glass window from Holy cross monastery (new York)Scientists have confirmed the age of one of the relics of St. Francis© Flickr / Randy OHC

Danish and Italian physicists have confirmed the age of the bag with the bread, which, according to legend, St. Francis of Assisi asked for an angel to pass on from France, where he then was, in a monastery in Italy, said in an article published in the journal Radiocarbon.

«Fortunately or unfortunately, scientific tests and measurements can’t prove that some kind of legend or beliefs are true or not. On the other hand, they allow us to check whether the object associated with these events, is a fake or not. As the sack of bread was on the doorstep of a convent – it is a matter of faith,» said Kaare Rasmussen (Kaare Rasmussen) from the University of southern Denmark in Odense.

In the winter of 1224, according to legend, on the doorstep of a convent Folloni located in the South of Italy, there was a bag with bread, got there by the will of St. Francis, who sent an angel with this gift from France. The bag quickly became a Shrine, and the monks for a long time used it as a cloth that covered the altar of the monastery.

In 1734 Folloni was destroyed by an earthquake, and after the construction of the new monastery, the monks decided to protect the tissue from further damage by placing it in a special container. To our time survived only half of that bag, and now the guardians of the monastery jealously guard it from possible problems.

Rasmussen and his colleagues, specialists in the chemistry of archaeology, managed to convince the father of Agnello, Stoya (Agnello Stoya), the current custodian Folloni, to give a few fibers relics for chemical analysis and calculations of her age. In total, the scientists had to spend about 10 milligrams of the matter of the sack of St. Francis in order to find the answers to all the questions they were interested.

Over the past 15 years, Rasmussen, Richard Evershed and several other well-known historians and chemists have solved a lot of past secrets, including the secret of how the ancient Egyptians embalmed mummies when the people of Europe learned how to make cheese and when Africans domesticated cows, and learned to drink milk, and much more.

In turn, the age of the bag, as shown by radiocarbon Dating, is about 740 years. This means that the relic is not fake and really belongs to the era when he lived, Francis of Assisi and when something happened event, which the monks say almost eight hundred years.

It is, as the scientists, does not prove that the bag was indeed on the doorstep of a convent by the will of the Saint, but excludes the possibility that the legend appeared much later than his death in order to make the monastery Folloni more popular among the parishioners and admirers of the founder of the Franciscan order.