Vodnjan Saints
Biographical Information
Name(s) Vodnjan Saints
Sex both
Status religious icon
Culture Italian
Date(s) 15th Century
Site St. Blaise (Svt, Blaze) church
Current Location
Location Vodnjan, Croatia
Catalog #
In the largest church in Vodnjan, Croatia, built in the 1760s, the Croatian mummies of Vodnjan rest inside St. Blaise (Crkva Sv. Vlaho), a well-known pilgrimage site, attracting some 15,000 worshipers each year. Behind the main altar of lie the mummified remains of six saints. The clothed bodies of St. Leon Bembo, St. John Olini, and St. Nicolosa Bursa, as well as parts of St. Sebastian, St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Barbara, lie enclosed in glass.


St. Nicolosa, a Benedictine nun who died in Venice in April 1512, is alleged to be the best preserved mummy in Europe.

St. Leon Bembo was born in Venice at the beginning of XII century. He was a priest at the Doge's palace in Venice. He later became the Venetian ambassador to Syria and was elected bishop.

St. Ivan (John) Olini was a priest in the church of St. John the Baptist in Venice. During the big plague epidemic when people tried to avoid even the members of their own families, he unselfishly helped whoever he could. He was called "the living Saint".


The collection of mummies was brought to the church in Vodnjan 180 years ago, when fleeing from the wars in Italy.


A CT scan was performed in 2009 and showed that St. Nicolosa Bursa's internal organs were still mostly intact.


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