Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bones discovered in Rome tomb belong to St. Paul


Bones discovered in Rome tomb belong to St. PaulTHE VATICAN, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Scientific tests conducted on what are believed to be the remains of Apostle Paul "seem to confirm" that they belong to the saint, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday to mark the end of the Year of St. Paul, Pope Benedict said, carbon dating tests conducted on bone fragments found in a sarcophagus under the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, confirmed that they date from the first or second century.
He said a tiny hole had been drilled in the sarcophagus, which for about 2,000 years is believed to be the tomb of the saint apostle, and "traces of a precious linen cloth, purple in color, laminated with pure gold, and a blue colored textile with filaments of linen" were revealed.
"This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul," Benedict said.
The discovery in the tomb came after the Vatican newspaper announced on Saturday that a fresco featuring the thin face of a bearded man with large eyes, and face on a red background surrounded with a yellow circle - the classic image of St. Paul - had been found in excavations of the Catacomb of Santa Tecla.
It is believed to be the oldest known icon of St. Paul dating from the late fourth century, L`Osservatore Romano said.
St. Paul, who called himself the Apostle to the Gentiles, was along with St. Peter the most notable of early Christian missionaries.
According to tradition, Paul was beheaded, while Peter was crucified, in the first century during the persecution of early Christians by Roman emperors.
Monday is the feast of St. Peter and Paul, a major holiday for the Roman Catholic Church.
Original article

No comments: