Maria's sister Giovanna
was also a patron
In 2012 the remains of Maria d’Aragona were dug up in Naples. When a linen bandage was cut off from Maria’s arm, a large, oval ulcer was discovered. Examination of the tissue with a microscope showed the presence of Treponema Pallidum, a spirochaete bacterium that is known to cause syphilis. The tissue was so well preserved that the spiral shape of the bacteria could be detected. Maria also harbored human papillomavirus in a venereal wart—the first diagnosis of this sexually transmitted, cancer-causing disease in the tissue of a mummy.
Sexually transmitted diseases were common in Renaissance Italy. It was easily spread by soldiers, having sex with - or raping – women, so Maria was most likely infected by her soldiering husband. See also: Syphilis in the Italian Renaissance.