From my understanding, the leaders of the Catholic faith will sometimes exhume a body of a saint for public display.Â The most current is Padre Pio.
The corpse of Padre Pio, exhumed amid protests from relatives and locals in his home town (see earlier post) has been displayed in a glass coffin and launched with a special open-air Mass by a Cardinal. “Padre Pio was dressed in a brown robe and his was covered in a life-like silicone mask” says the report, and already over 700,000 people have registered to view his body at the Capuchin friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. The priest died in 1968, at the age of 81, after living for decades with bleeding wounds on his hands and feet – ‘stigmata” – which were never explained.Â Link
But I wasn’t aware that the face you actually see is a mask created by the British company GEMS.