Frederyck Chopin's Heart Shows signs of Tuberculosis - 150 years after he died.

Frederyck Chopin’s heart was tested recently to determine the cause of his death at the young age of 39. His heart has been ensconsed in the pillar of a Warsaw church, per his dying wish – bury his heart in Poland. While the heart shows signs of tuberculosis, I ask myself, does it really matter?

I remember the first time I visited the grand, beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice Italy. Our three children were 10, 7 and 7 and it was our first major vacation. We went inside and did the walking tour. There was an arrow pointing to the ‘Relics.’ I never did figure out where the ‘relics’ were, because all I saw was a bone encased in glass. Where, I wondered, were the ‘ancient relics’ or  ‘relics of the past’ like the history.

Okay, so now I’m wiser and understand there are ‘religious’ definitions of ‘relic.’ And I understand saving any remnant of an important person keeps you closer to their memory. Mothers cut locks of their children’s hair, and I’ve heard of a trend of pet lovers utilizing taxidermy to keep their pets’ ‘alive.’

If relics denote sainthood, then Frederyk Chopyn qualifies as a Polish saint. Chopin died of tuberculosis  in Paris at age 39. His dying request was that his heart be buried in Poland; it’s inside a pillar of a Warsaw church (shown.)  I know enough about piano music to know his is some of the hardest music to play, like Liszt, ever composed.  If you count famous Poles, Chopin is near the top of the list. 
So the article below surprised me a bit. “For the first time in 69 years” the heart has been exhumed for testing. So after 150 years of being interred in a church as a precious relic, folks want to see what he died of. Am I the only won impressed that some organ from 150 years is still intact and functional for preservation?  But then I ask, does it really matter?

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Tags: Notable Poles