22. St. Lucius I 253-254


Pope Lucius was the Bishop of Rome for less than a year,but his personal legacy lives on to today through the story of his relics. St. Lucius became the patron saint of the Danish region of Zealand during the middle ages,and the Roskilde Cathedral needed both a relic and protection from “demons” and only the skull of Pope Lucius I would do. With the permission of Pope Paschal II,the skull of Lucius was brought to Denmark around the year 1100. Turns out the the Danish people are poor caretakers of valuable Catholic property because after the Reformation and a Danish conversion to the Lutheran faith,the skull would find its way to the freaky and morbid collection of King Frederick III in Copenhagen,and there it would remain until moved to the St. Ansgar’s Cathedral in 1908 as the propery of the Copenhagen National Museum. Carbon testing done this century puts the owner of the skull as a man who lived around the year 400,over 100 years after the death of our Pope Lucius. Somewhere along the way,those crazy Danes misplaced the freaking head of a Pope. Which begs the question;How in the world do you just have so many skulls laying around to mix them up? Did a doofus intern leave it in a carriage 200 years ago and scramble to replace it with some generic garden variety skull? Is Pope Lucius an unwitting Hamlet prop in a Denmark dinner theatre?? Those pesky Danes,this is why we can’t have nice things.


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