Monday, January 8, 2007

The Tomb of St. Paul

It escaped my notice until today that a really big archeological find was made last month. The tomb of St. Paul was identified by archeologists in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. As with the tomb of St. Peter some decades ago, science confirms a persistent oral tradition.

St. Paul was beheaded and his body was buried in a cemetery at the Via Ostiense. The first basilica at that location was built in 390. According to the Catholic News Service: "[T]he sarcophagus had a funnel-shaped hole in the top--later closed with mortar--through which the faithful could stick pieces of cloth to make secondary relics." One side of the sarcophagus is now in public view.

Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums stated: "The tomb that we discovered is the one that the popes and the Emperor Theodosius (379- 395) saved and presented to the whole world as being the tomb of the apostle."

No comments: