Rome, Feb. 17 (CWNews.com) - Vatican archeologists believe that they have identified the tomb of St. Paul in the Roman basilica that bears his name.Complete article.
A sarcophagus which may contain the remains of St. Paul was identified in the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, reports Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums. The sarcophagus was discovered during the excavations carried out in 2002 and 2003 around the basilica, which is located in the south of Rome. Having reached what they believe is a positive identification of the tomb, Vatican experts will soon make a public announcement of their discovery.
"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," Filippi reports.
The discovery was made by a team composed exclusively of experts from the Vatican Museum. They had undertaken their exploration in response to a request from the administrator of St. Paul's basilica, Archbishop Francesco Gioia. During the Jubilee Year 2000, the archbishop noticed that thousands of pilgrims were inquiring about the location of St. Paul's tomb. The excavation effort was guided by 19th-century plans for the basilica, which was largely rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1823.