Aug 18 2009

An Irreverent Curiosity and a Diaper Box

Published by under Book Reviews,Travel

An Irreverent Curiosity--by David Farley

An Irreverent Curiosity--by David Farley

If you go to the treasury in the main cathedral in Dubrovnik, Croatia, you can find some very curious religious relics; for instance, the head of Dubrovnik’s patron saint, St. Blaise, as well as his arm, leg, and throat. You might also come across a piece of the true cross and what I thought was the weirdest “treasure” ever, a silver box that holds Jesus’ diapers. No one really believes me when I tell them that the diaper box exists and you can pay a couple of bucks to see it, but since you can’t take photographs in the treasury, I have no proof.

I kind of forgot about the diaper box until I read my new favorite book, An Irreverent Curiosity by David Farley. Simply put, the book is about Farley’s year in Calcuta, Italy. This small medieval hilltop town might possibly be home to some of the most colorful residents in the whole of Italy and certainly is worth a book unto itself. However, even stranger is Farley’s quest: to discover what happened to the village’s most precious relic – The Holy Foreskin. The Holy Foreskin was the treasure of the village and in 1982 it mysteriously disappeared. Everyone seems to have their theories, but no one knows for sure about the authenticity and the location of the item. And after reading the book, I am a bit more curious about the strange world of relics. (Confession: as I am writing this a priest sat down next to me and now I feel really weird.)

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