Imagine, just for a moment, that it is about ten years since your granny died. She was a lovely lady. She never harmed a soul, made jam every summer and always had a kind word for everyone. You were sad to see her go, as was everyone who knew her – she’d had a nice life but like all of us sooner or later, it’s just our time. 

You’ve never forgotten her, though, and as it’s the anniversary of her death, you decide you’re going to have a small ‘do’ to remember her. You dig out her old diary and decide to contact some of her friends, and send out some invitations for a small gathering. Lots of her old friends contact you and tell they’d love to come. The day before you head off to Waitrose, buy in plenty of baguettes, cheese and profiteroles, and then spend the evening getting the house ready for the guests, making sandwiches and so on. 

The next day, at the appointed time, the guests begin to arrive. All those members of your family that you haven’t seen since, well, granny’s funeral turn up, as well as those of her old friends that are still around. The pictures of granny are out, and of course the conversation is all about what a lovely lady she was and how you all miss her.

Then, you decide to tap your cake fork against your wine glass in order to quieten the guests. You want to say a few words about your granny and propose a toast to her. But before you do, you open the sideboard door, and take out a small jam jar with what appears to be some red fluid in it, and a piece of something floppy that you really dare not even begin to guess what it is, and proceed to put them on the table. At this moment your Uncle Ernie turns to you and asks what they are. “Well, the stuff in the jam jar is granny’s blood, and this thing here [prodding it with a cocktail stick] is a piece of her skin.” Uncle Ernie involuntarily spits out his red wine, Aunt Maud heaves up the contents of her stomach onto the rug, and someone in the corner faints, bringing down a vase on a stand with her.

Were this scenario to occur in real life, I suspect that you would be getting paid a visit by representatives from a number of different agencies, including the local constabulary. If the newspapers got hold of the story, you would be eviscerated by every right-thinking reader for probably being incurably sick or mentally ill on a very serious scale. 

Of course, this could never happen in real life.

In other news, two former Popes were declared ‘saints’ yesterday by the Vatican. According to the BBC:

“At the climax of the service, Pope Francis said in Latin: “We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.”

Relics of each man – a container of blood from John Paul and a piece of skin from John – were placed near the altar.”