Galileo’s Missing Fingers Found in Jar

So that’s where those were. Also:

Removing body parts from the corpse was an echo of a practice common with saints, whose digits, tongues and organs were revered by Catholics as relics with sacred powers.

The people who cut off his fingers essentially considered him a secular saint, Galluzzi said, noting the fingers that were removed were the ones he would have used to hold a pen.

“Exactly as it was practiced with saints of religion, so with saints of science,” Galluzzi said. “He was a hero and a martyr, keeping alive freedom of thought and freedom of research.”

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