Health

“After 10 centuries, the diseases are the same”

Recreation of the bust of San Isidro.

The Legal and Forensic Medicine of Spain has carried out the milestone of recreating, more than 10 centuries after his death, the face of San Isidro. The works have been carried out by María Benito, Patricia Moya, Mónica Rascón and Isabel Anguloof the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM)who have starred in an anthropological and forensic study carried out on the body of San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of the city of Madrid and of the peasants.

The investigation, which has allowed an unprecedented facial sculptural reproduction of his face to be made, suggests that the saint performed manual labor and died around the year 1130as his canonization bull points out, an age between 35 and 45 years. A work that has allowed to contrast that “Although 10 centuries have passed since his death, many diseases remain the same”as explained by Patricia Moya to Medical Writing.

“The big difference is in the treatment of the disease,” he explains, since “Now we have tools that allow us to have an early diagnosis and rapid treatment”. The cause of his death has not been clearly discerned, and no signs of violence or trauma have been found on his body, but if there have been signs of disease and infections in the jawboneswith significant abscesses and fistulas, which are listed as one of the possible reasons for death.


Contributions to Medicine

This work has also made contributions to Medicine. Specifically, in the field of Preventive medicine“affirms that oral hygiene continues to be very important, since otherwise neglecting it can generate infections that cause death, as happened ten centuries ago”, Moya explains.

To recreate the face and better understand the life of San Isidro, a ‘necrotac’ has been carried out, that is, a test of CT a, in this case, a mummy, since the body is mummified. “Medicine provides us with a lot of information on how to avoid injuries to the body”indicates.

However, it acknowledges that the TAC still “has some limitations”, since, when carrying out the work, it has not been possible to work with the body. It couldn’t be handled. So it was not possible to perform traditional autopsies. However, the result of the scans, which have allowed its modeling in 3D“is something very positive for research” in Medicine.

The incorrupt body of the saint is guarded in the Collegiate Church of San Isidro by the Royal, Very Illustrious and Primitive Congregation of San Isidro de Naturales of Madridwhich was the one that raised an in-depth study of the relic, of which there is news from the 12th century.


Between 167 and 186 centimeters tall


Thus, doctors María Benito, Ana Patricia Moya, Mónica Rascón and Isabel Angulo have been able to know that Saint Isidro was a man with a height of between 167 and 186 centimeters who died between the ages of 35 and 45denying the traditional version that attributed to the saint an age of 90 years at the time of his death.

In this sense, the researcher argues that “Facial reconstruction has been done in Forensic Medicine for a long time”. “What is needed in these cases is to have the skull and from the skull the muscles are placed on the skull, following the thicknesses that the different parts of the head usually have, such as the soft tissues”, he maintains.

In addition, one of the most curious findings has been that of a coin-shaped metal object lodged in the saint’s throat. Although it has not been possible to observe directly, it seems to be a coin with the inscription of the silhouette of a rampant lion framed in a rhombus. According to a numismatic study, it could be a white diamond, from the king Henry IV of Castilewho allegedly visited the relic of the saint in 1463.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Redacción Médica is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend to the reader that any health-related questions be consulted with a health professional.

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