Bones and Oldest image of St Paul discovered

June 29, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Pope Benedict announced on Sunday, the first-ever scientific test on what are believed to be the remains of the Apostle Paul.  Archaeologists recently unearthed and opened the white marble sarcophagus under the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, which for about 2,000 years has been believed by the faithful to be the tomb of St. Paul.
Benedict said scientists conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and it “seems to confirm” that they belong to the Roman Catholic saint, as they date from the first or second century.

Benedict gave details of the discovery, saying a tiny hole had been drilled in the sarcophaguus to permit inspection of the interior, revealing “traces of a precious linen cloth, purple in color, laminated with pure gold, and a blue colored textile with filaments of linen.”

Archaeologists also uncovered a 1,600 year old image of St Paul (photo left), the oldest one known of, in a Roman catacomb. The fresco, which dates back to the 4th Century AD, was discovered during restoration work at the Catacomb of Saint Thekla close to the Basilica of St Paul, but was kept secret for ten days.

The discoveries have come during the “Pauline Year,” when the Roman Catholic church has been celebrating the second millennium of the birth of the “Apostle of the Gentiles.”

Paul and Peter are the two main figures known for spreading the Christian faith after the death of Jesus.

According to tradition, Paul was beheaded in the first century during the persecution of early Christians by Roman emperors. Bone fragments from his head are believed to be in another Rome basilica.


Comments

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.