During July 1998, the Russian Orthodox Church declined to recognize the remains of Czar Nicholas II as being the real article, despite the results of DNA tests and other evidence.
Yet in August 1998 an Associated Press report revealed that the church deemed authentic the remains of Alexander of Svira, a 16th-century saint.
This was because there were drops of a substance resembling honey between the toes of the mummy, which priests, including Patriarch Alexy II, who is the head of the Orthodox church, claim is myrrh.
Olga Bykhovskaya, who is deputy head of the Forensic Examination Service in St. Petersburg, said, "The church had doubts about the royal remains, when all of science had proven their authenticity. And here they have no doubts when science has not proved it."
In December 1997, the mummy had been found in a cupboard in the Anatomical Museum at the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg. Initial tests were suggestive that the remains were those of the saint, whose relics had been confiscated in 1919, but were hardly conclusive.
The Orthodox faithful have what they need, since to them the apparent myrrh is proof positive of sainthood.
Source: Austin American-Statesman, 8/23/98