Skip to comments.ST Paul's tomb 'may be opened'
Posted on 06/27/2009 4:34:40 PM PDT by BGHater
A Roman tomb believed to be that of St Paul may be opened for the first time in 2000 years, the archpriest of the cathedral where it is located said Friday.
''We've been thinking of opening St Paul's sarcophagus for a while and Pope Benedict XVI has not ruled out ordering a thorough analysis of the tomb,'' said Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo of St Paul's Outside the Walls.
''We've also studied how we could do it. You have to bear in mind that this sarcophagus has been there for 20 centuries and has never been opened,'' he said.
''Opening it would be a major job, given that the tomb is enormous and it would mean we'd have to demolish the papal altar.
Vatican archaeologists uncovered the tomb in 2006 in a crypt under the basilica and said the fact that it was positioned exactly underneath the epigraph 'Paulo Apostolo Mart' (Paul the Apostle and Martyr) at the base of the cathedral's main altar was conclusive proof that it was the apostle's sarcophagus.
The tomb also has a hole in the top through which which pieces of cloth could be pushed, touching the relic and becoming holy in their turn.
However, nobody actually knows what is inside the tomb, which may even be a cenotaph (empty tomb) erected in the name of the saint.
Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo said past attempts to enter the tomb using sophisticated microcamera technology had failed because of its 25-centimetre-thick walls.
St Paul's Outside the Walls is located about three kilometres outside the ancient walls of Rome and is the largest church in the city after St Peter's.
Paul was a Roman Jew, born in Tarsus in modern-day Turkey, who started out persecuting Christians but later became possibly the greatest shaper of the Church.
He did not know Jesus in life but converted to Christianity after seeing a shining light on the road to Damascus.
The saint, who called himself the Apostle to the Gentiles, was a great traveller, visiting Cyprus, Asia Minor, mainland Greece, Crete, and Rome bringing the gospel of Jesus.
His 14 letters are largely written to churches which he had founded or visited.
They tell Christians what they should believe and how they should live but do not say much about Jesus' life and teachings.
Paul's influence on Christian thinking has, arguably, been more significant than any other single New Testament author.
His works were hugely influential on some of the great Christian thinkers and leaders of movements, including St Augustine and Martin Luther.
They have also been criticised by feminist writers for assigning women a subordinate role in the Church.
Paul is believed to have been executed for his beliefs around AD 65.
He is thought to have been beheaded, rather than crucified, because he was a Roman citizen.
According to Christian tradition, his body was buried in a vineyard by a Roman woman and a shrine grew up there before Emperor Constantine consecrated a basilica in 324.
The basilica was enlarged and restored over the centuries but had to be rebuilt in the 19th century after it was destroyed in a fire.
St Paul is the patron saint of Malta and the City of London and has also had several cities named in his honour including Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Oops, I meant to state that the WALLS were built by Aurellius and Probus!
Well, I hope they leave his remains alone. The whole “relic” thing strikes me as ghoulish.
How about a plumber’s snake with a camera attached?
Fiber optics like what is used in surgery would be much safer.
Capone had previously housed his headquarters at the nearby Metropole Hotel, but in July 1928 moved to a suite at the Lexington Hotel. Capone ran his various enterprises from this hotel until his arrest in 1931. A construction company in the 1980s planned a renovation of the Lexington Hotel and while surveying the building discovered a shooting range and a series of secret tunnels including one hidden behind Capone's medicine cabinet. These tunnels connected taverns and brothels to provide an elaborate potential escape route in case of a police raid. These discoveries led to further investigation of the hotel, notably by researcher Harold Rubin. Rumors said Capone had kept a very secret vault beneath the hotel to hold some of his wealth.
Geraldo Rivera had been fired in 1985 after criticizing ABC for cancelling a report on an alleged relationship between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. He then hosted the special, The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault, which was broadcast live on April 21, 1986. The two hour special (including commercials) was greatly hyped as potentially revealing great riches or bodies on live television. This included the presence of a medical examiner should bodies be found and agents from the Internal Revenue Service to collect any of Capone's money that may be discovered. When the vault was finally opened the only things found inside were dirt and several empty bottles including one Geraldo claimed was for moonshine bathtub gin. Despite the ending the special became the most-watched syndicated television special with an estimated audience of 30 million. Rivera later wrote of the event in his 1991 autobiography Exposing Myself that "My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun. And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise." The term "Al Capone's vault" has become slang for a heavily expected event with disappointing results.
The special was parodied in "Weird Al" Yankovic's movie UHF, where George Newman (Yankovic) hosts a special uncover the secrets of Al Capone's glove compartment. Newman's discovery is highlighted by the line "A-ha, road maps!"
Thanks waggs. This is obviously *not* in Minnesota, but as I'm (supposedly) working on the Digest right now, to be sent out any minute (cough cough), I'm must adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Sounds like we need an Indiana Jones movie about this! Unless Harrison Ford is too busy, searching to Obama’s lost Birth Certificate! LOL.
Christ died on the cross, but he is not just dead.
>> And no good will be done <<
Strikingly incurious, aren’t you?
>> However, nobody actually knows what is inside the tomb, which may even be a cenotaph (empty tomb) erected in the name of the saint. <<
But of course, how fascinating to find out!
How was this possible, since the walls you refer to were built over 200 years after his death?
Speaking as a converted Roman Catholic I agree that it’s ghoulish. It’s fascinating too though. Among the alter stone relics of the cathedral I attend are “parts” of St. Nicholas.
Well, at least you’re thinking. Good question. The walls marked the official city limits of Rome. Those limits predated the walls. The dishonor was to be expelled from the city when he was killed.
“’’Opening it would be a major job, given that the tomb is enormous and it would mean we’d have to demolish the papal altar.”
Is this picture the “papal altar” referred to in the article?
SANTA IS DEAD??? *Sob*
Raiders of the Lost Birth Certificate?
With all of today's technology, it is not possible to move the altar without demolishing it?
Thanks BGHater. Here’s something related:
Oldest Icon of St. Paul Discovered
Posted on 06/28/2009 11:54:12 AM PDT by Mighty_Quinn
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.