The Relic of St. Antoninus – Florence, Italy - Atlas Obscura

The Relic of St. Antoninus

Dominican Church of San Marco

The mummified relic of St. Antoninus. 


Resting in the Dominican Church of San Marco in Florence is the 550 year-old mummified relic of St. Antoninus. His full body lies inside a glass coffin, dressed in his ornate archbishop’s garb. In the last 12 years of his life, Antoninus was made Archbishop against his wishes. He resisted so strongly that the current pope had to threaten him with excommunication if he didn’t accept. Antoninus accepted, but continued to live like a monk. His only personal possessions were simple furniture and a mule.

His unembalmed body remained exposed for 8 days before it was buried in the glass coffin in the eponymous Chapel of St. Antoninus in 1459 where he remains today. Antoninus still looks as fresh and pious as the day he died, though one suspects that some cosmetic touches have been made over the years.

The church itself is considered something of a shrine to the Dominican order, due to the large number of paintings by the great Dominican artist, Fra Angelico.

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October 24, 2009

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