Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

According to historical legend, King was exhumed and beheaded during French Revolution

It comes as a major disappointment for a rather ghastly historical relic . The mummified head long believed to be that of French King Henry IV three years ago may not belong to him, after all!

Henry IV's grave was reportedly among those ransacked in 1793, when French revolutionaries took to mutilating dead monarchs as a statement against royal rule.

Henry IV's grave was reportedly among those ransacked in 1793, when French revolutionaries took to mutilating dead monarchs as a statement against royal rule.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Mummified head, King Henry IV, DNA evidence


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - King Henry IV was king of the Pyrenees kingdom of Navarre in 1589, when an assassin killed his predecessor Henry III. A Protestant, his ascension to the throne of Catholic France was highly complicated. The king eventually converted to Catholicism, allegedly saying, "Paris is well worth a Mass."

History would repeat itself when an assassin took Henry IV's life in 1610. Buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis in Paris, his rest was said to have been disturbed.

Henry IV's grave was reportedly among those ransacked in 1793, when French revolutionaries took to mutilating dead monarchs as a statement against royal rule. The disrupted graves were sealed up again in the early 1800s. There was really no way to verify whether Henry IV's body was beheaded at this time or left alone.

A forensic examination of the mummified head in 2010 said that the purported head was indeed that of Henry IV's. Osteo-archaeologist Philippe Charlier of University Hospital R Poincaré in Garches, France and his colleagues pointed to the evidence. The mummy head has an irregular mole on the nostril and a pierced right ear, both features seen on contemporary portraits of Henry IV.

Researchers then used digital facial reconstruction on the head, which had been in the hands of private collectors, to identify it as the "good King Henry," who ruled France from 1589 to 1610.

However - a new DNA study throws the original identification into controversy. A team led by Jean-Jacques Cassiman of the University of Leuven in Belgium found that DNA recovered from the head does not match that from the House of Bourbon, Henry's lineage.

"In order to realize an accurate genetic identification of historical remains, DNA typing of living persons, who are paternally or maternally related with the presumed donor of the samples, is required," Cassiman says.

It must be noted that testing old DNA is tricky and far too little DNA was recovered from the mummified head to entirely rule it out as Henry's, according to Cassiman.

Using markers on the male, or Y, chromosome, Cassiman and his colleagues found that there was no match between the head's DNA and that of three living descendants of the king.

Maternal DNA evidence also suggested the head might not be Henry IV's. At least one of the women in the king's lineage would have to have not actually been biologically related to her child for the head to be Henry's, the results suggest.

Discover the true meaning of Christmas!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Europe

REVEALED: Pope Pius XII's secret efforts to overthrow Hitler Watch

Image of In the late 1990s, debate over whether Pius XII did enough to counter the Nazis reached a high point with the publication of the deeply controversial book,

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Pius XII's secret support for the attempted overthrow of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is the subject of a new book that draws on wartime documents and interviews with the American intelligence agent who wrote them. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "This ... continue reading


Germany cannot take in 'all the world's needy,' Catholic Church says Watch

Image of The anti-Islamic group Periga has encouraged fellow Europeans to join them in marches for

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Charity has limits, church officials in Germany say. Taking in the majority of the world's Syrian refugees, representatives from the Catholic Church now say that resources are being stretched to the limits, and new refugees must be controlled. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Remains of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Leopold Mandic arrive in Rome for Jubilee of Mercy Watch

Image of The relics of the two saints were welcomed to St. Lawrence with a large celebration and procession into the basilica (CNS/Reuters).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

The partially incorrupt body of Padre Pio has arrived to Rome for the first time ever alongside that of another friar, St. Leopold Mandic, as a special initiative for the Jubilee of Mercy. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Urns containing the relics of Saint Padre ... continue reading


Seeking reconciliation, Pope Francis, and Russian Orthodox leader to meet in Cuba - for first time, ever Watch

Image of The meeting comes after years and decades of previous outreach efforts, which has prevented papal visits to Russia (AFP).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In the hopes of repairing a schism within Christianity, that dates back as far as the 11th Century, Pope Francis will meet with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cuba. The two branches have been estranged because of disagreements over papal authority - as ... continue reading


Woman takes toddler to join ISIS Watch

Image of Tareena Shakil took her toddler to Syria to join ISIS (PA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Twenty-six-year-old Tareena Shakil told her family she would be vacationing in Turkey with her 14-month-old son. The next time her family heard from her, Shakil and her son were in Syria - and had joined the terrorist organization ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Evidence of the Yeti? Footprints in Himalayan snow said to be of abominable snowman Watch

Image of Among the most elusive of all crypto-zoological creatures, the Abominable Snowman has had several eyewitness accounts. Some Russian fans here pose with an elaborate mock-up of the snowy creature (Lenta).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The abominable snowman, or Yeti, remains one of the world's most elusive crypto-zoological figures. There have been many eyewitness reports of the hairy giant throughout the mountain ranges of the Himalayas for many years. A British man, on vacation in Bhutan, ... continue reading


'I should never have smiled at him': Nightclub owner bans migrants from club when language barrier leads to sexual harrassment Watch

Image of When women began to report migrants harassing them at his nightclub, Jensen decided to take action (Mads Flackner).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Tom Holden Jensen, the owner of a Danish nightclub, decided to ban all migrants who don't speak Danish, English or German from his Buddy Holly club in Søenderborg. The controversial decision was made after several women claimed they felt threatened and intimidated by ... continue reading


'Covering St.Peter's in an enormous box?' - Italians react to veiling of classical art for alien religion Watch

Image of Statues were covered in advance of Rouhani's visit to Rome, but not all of them.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Italians are upset that state officials covered ancient Roman statues to avoid offending Hassan Rouhani's sensibilities during his visit to Rome. The president of the Islamic Republic is on a tour of Europe to drum up trade following the lifting of sanctions on Iran. ... continue reading


The world recognizes International Holocaust Remembrance Day Watch

Image of International Holocaust Remembrance Day honors the memory of those who were lost (kosherKola).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On November 1, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to make January 27 the International Day of Commemoration in memory of Holocaust victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the ... continue reading


Migrant worker in Sweden murdered at CHILD migrant center Watch

Image of Refugee violence in Europe continues to grow, as Alexandra Mezher [not pictured] is stabbed by suspected Somalian refugee.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 22-year-old migrant center worker was brutally stabbed to death outside the housing for unaccompanied migrants in Molndal, Sweden. Sadly, her death is one of several migrant-related crimes throughout Europe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More