Archaeologists supposedly find the remains of St Paul

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Archaeologists supposedly find the remains of St Paul

The problem with this is the sarcophagus dates at least 390 which is long after Pauls death. Afterall he was alive at a time to visit the dicicples in Jerusalem. So his death must be around 100-150AD. You would imagine the Vatican would be aware of this discrepency.

Archaeologists have unearthed a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of the Apostle Paul that had been buried beneath Rome's second largest basilica.

The sarcophagus, which dates back to at least A.D. 390, has been the subject of an extended excavation that began in 2002 and was completed last month, the project's head said this week.

"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist who headed the project at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica.

The interior of the sarcophagus has not yet been explored, but Filippi didn't rule out the possibility of doing so in the future.

Two ancient churches that once stood at the site of the current basilica were successively built over the spot where tradition said the saint had been buried. The second church, built by the Roman emperor Theodosius in the fourth century, left the tomb visible, first above ground and later in a crypt.

When a fire destroyed the church in 1823, the current basilica was built and the ancient crypt was filled with earth and covered by a new altar.

"We were always certain that the tomb had to be there beneath the papal altar," Filippi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Filippi said that the decision to make the sarcophagus visible again was made after many pilgrims who came to Rome during the Catholic Church's 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint's tomb could not be visited or touched.

The findings of the project will be officially presented during a news conference at the Vatican on Monday.
By netchicken: posted on 7-12-2006

More on the topic. It seems the remains were moved to the place found in AD390. So they may actually be the original remains of St Paul. This is really monumentous when you think about it. Paul was one of the greatest minds of his time.

The archaeologists had to descend into a series of tunnels and chambers that dated to the fourth century. There they found a marble plaque inscribed with "Paul the Apostle, Martyr".

St Paul's remains lay underneath a stone slab, in which three holes were originally punched to allow visitors to push pieces of material through and touch the saint's remains. The cloth would then be imbued with the sanctity within.

The sarcophagus is thought to date from AD390, when the Emperor Theodosius "saved" the remains and moved them to the site, near the Appian Way. St Paul, was born in Tarsus, a city that used to stand in the Mersin province of Turkey, shortly after Jesus.

The present St Paul Outside-the-Walls was built in 1823 on the remains
of earlier churches. The first was erected by the Emperor Constantine
By netchicken: posted on 11-12-2006

A pic of the coffin!

Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-Walls, shows the sarcophagus during a press conference in the basilica on Monday.

"These excavations give us the full certainty and knowledge that the sarcophagus is St. Paul's tomb, whether it contains his remains or not," said Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, head of the basilica.

frm here

st-paul-coffin.jpeg - 35.62kb
By netchicken: posted on 15-12-2006

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