Skip to comments.Vatican archaeologists unearth St. Paul's tomb
Posted on 12/06/2006 6:18:21 AM PST by NYer
Vatican 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 390 A.D., 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 taken 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.
Interesting. Why didn't the wedding party at Cana approach the Lord instead of relying on Mary to intercede on their behalf? And why didn't Jesus take the opportunity to scold them for such an insulting act? Instead, He performs the first miracle of His ministry on their behalf. How odd.
LOL, that's true. I was particularly thinking of the post-Pentecost Christian church.
So if you say "I am the way, the truth and the light", it's ok because when you say "I", you mean Jesus? Bill Clinton's definition of the word "is" has nothing on you... :)
We do. I'm especially fond of St. Michael.[you]
I think one can make a fair case that praying to is not the same as worshiping...but Paul had a reason for saying: "Do not let anyone who delights in...the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head..." (Col. 2:18-19)
I guess if I was to put a ribbon on this whole discussion it would be that seven-word phrase Paul opens in Col. 2:19: "He has lost connection with the Head [Jesus, being the Head of the Body]."
People who pray to other-dimensionly saints keep wanting to pray to the knee instead of the Head. Yes, the knee is a well-recognized posture of prayer. And some "knees" in heaven have been very good at gaining God's ear.
But the knee was never meant to substitute for the Head. I have to wonder about people who when talking to me never look me in the eye, but stare at my feet (or my knees). Yes, I hear what they're saying, but it's not very respectful.
Worse yet, I can't help wonder if some of the alleged saints being prayed to aren't even present in heaven. God doesn't grade heavenly entrance on a curb. It's pass-fail, based upon faith in Christ. There's an awful lot of good-works oriented Pharisees who based upon Jesus' harsh words to them ("making others twice the son of hell" for example) make me think they're just not where they thought they would wind up.
So, that being the case...you've got folks who aren't praying to even "the knee" but rather are praying to other rather delicate parts of the body. :) And if just a smigling of those saints are in actuality in hell, well, there goes the proximity argument.
Ok so. No one said any of those things were bad. What point were you trying to make?
Actually, you did. You claim that ANY conversation with dead people is the sin of necromancy. Jesus spoke with dead people. Therefore, by YOUR understanding, He sinned.
However, it's important to keep in mind that a great deal of the information that anti-Catholics rely upon DOES COME FROM COMIC BOOKS!
You obviously didn't understand what I said, and I don't know how to state it any more clearly, so I'm not going to waste my time.
Your entire contention seems to be that the Lord was free to sin while He was among us.
Then why do you ever ask anyone to pray for you?
Again, another argument which cuts against intercessory prayer in general.
Do you have that doubt about the accuracy of the NT canon? It is the same Church that canonizes saints and Scripture.
I haven't read the whole thread, because it has, quite predictably for FR, become yet another Catholic bash, a venerable tradition here. So it's possible someone may have already mentioned this, in which case I apologize for the inadvertent repetition. But the efficacy of Pauline relics in particular is attested to by Scripture, which buttresses your position that their use dates to apostolic times. Viz., Acts 19:11-12:
And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles. So that even there were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them.
the "handkerchiefs and aprons" being, of course, relics of St. Paul.
You should. The intent is plainly a divinisation of Washington. That's what "apotheosis" means. Borrowing on the artistic/literary conventions of the ancients (much in vogue in the Greek Revival period that coincided with the Capitol's construction) Old George is being proposed to us as the Hero who's been promoted to more-than-mortal status.
Also disturbing to the artistically sensitive is the Capitol dome itself. To the pagan Romans, the dome represents the sky, the universe. This architectural convention was later adopted by Christians, for buildings devoted to divine worship. Is it possible that Latrobe didn't know that domed buildings speak of things both divine and universal? The subliminal message is that the American government is something divinely ordained with a universal mandate -- if not a holy thing in itself. This is not at all a republican idea -- and it didn't use to be Republican either.
President Reagan engaged in the same misappropriation of religious imagery when he spoke of the USA as a "shining city on a hill", a figure that has its origins in Holy Scripture and rightly refers to the Church.
Which saints would you be referring to?
No, I'm really "hung up" on the bad news/good news. The law condemns you (the bad news). The cross of Christ and the forgiveness there saves you (the good news). 'Tis would be great if that's what our newspapers published. But it's not often found there.
Why? Because us latter-day saints don't flesh that out very well in our daily lives.
But, that doesn't mean we aren't doing something well. I've seen some very good media acquisition on the part of the RC church (along w/the rest of the Church-at-large). If Christians can't "break thru" media walls, it's always purchased time--like radio time.
So when you evaluate the church-at-large--and the church is larger than the institutional church (thank God in light of the priest scandals), you also have to evaluate what it does with this "purchased time." And if that's the case, then for every priestly word spoken over the air, we can also look at every lay word spoken thru an ad.
Every day, we all have a choice of what we want to witness to: Some of us witness to the weather changes; others to Notre Dame & Boston College & other sports teams; others to saintly communication; others to Jesus Christ himself.
The authoritative teaching of the Church isn't found in newspaper ads.
I really don't want to discuss the priest scandals at all. But if you're going to tell me this, I suppose next you'll tell me that the authoritiative teaching is found in the 2 or 3 diocese locations (like Phoenix) where it's gone bankrupt due to these scandals. In my opinion, I see the RC much larger than the institutional church...God has been doing great things at the grassroots level.
hahaha.. yeah, you ought to read about him too, very remarkable man.
And don't worry, if you read about him it won't take anything away from Jesus, in fact, I think it will make you love Our Lord more.
Does me anyway.
Good God, you have this broken record one track mind. Give it up!!!! No, I have NEVER, EVER stated or implied that Jesus sinned. What I have said (with examples that kids in Sunday School would understand) is that He did certain things LIKE speaking with Moses and Elijah during the transfiguration, saying "I am the Son of God", etc, etc. that were OK for Him BECAUSE He was God. But that does not make it OK for YOU to do the exact same thing. If you can't understand the basic concept that YOU can not do everything that God does, then don't bother responding.
Then why are you?
But if you're going to tell me this, I suppose next you'll tell me that the authoritiative teaching is found in the 2 or 3 diocese locations (like Phoenix) where it's gone bankrupt due to these scandals.
Last time I checked, it was found in the teaching documents of the councils and papal ex-cathedra pronouncements. You might also try looking at the lives of the great saints.
I have no idea why you're bringing up the scandal of bad priests. There are sinners and fools among the clergy of every denomination and every church. There were bad priests among the ancient Israelites, too. (Do you really want a tour through the OT?)
You do understand the difference between having multiple people pray to God, rather than you praying to multiple people?
1. The word "angel" means "messenger".
2. Eternity is a long, long time.
We didn't invade someone else's thread with tiresome accusations of idolatry and putting someone other than Christ in first place, did we?
He had a conversation with two deceased men. He TOLD THE TRUTH. His truth happens to be that He is God. When I have a conversation with someone and I tell the truth, then I am not a liar.
So, my prayer to a 'popular' saint might not get around to being heard for several millenniums? Ouch! That's not comforting... What if I needed an answer now? Hmmm... I think I'll make the call right to an omniscient God who hears and answers on the first ring, with no long on-hold queue.
Will no one address this?
Why didn't the wedding party at Cana approach the Lord instead of relying on Mary to intercede on their behalf? And why didn't Jesus take the opportunity to scold them for such an insulting act? Instead, He performs the first miracle of His ministry on their behalf.
God is 'allowed' to do things WE are not allowed to do. Parents can do things that their children can not. You still don't understand that?
Yes, but that difference is irrelevant to the point in question. The point in question is whether we should ask anyone but the Head (i.e. Christ) to pray for us. You say that people who ask departed saints to pray for them "keep wanting to pray to the knee instead of the Head". But then you think it is fine to ask earth-bound believers to pray for you. So when you ask earth-bound believers to pray for you, you are going to the knee instead of the Head.
Therefore, you have an inconsistency in your position, by allowing going to the knee in the case of earth-bound believers, but prohibiting going to the knee in the case of departed saints.
Don't forget the awesome event when the KJV of the Bible dropped out of the hands of angels directly into the grasp of the Court of King James I.
First of all. It was the very first miracle performed by Jesus. Up until then, he had no reputation for them to approach him. I mean a good chunk of the miracles in the gospels were due to people approaching Jesus, not vise versa. And that only occurred because of the "signs & wonders" news that spread among the people.
Take any miracle where somebody approached Jesus and try moving it to John 2 early in his public ministry and guess what? You probably wouldn't have a miracle? Why? Because Jesus was a total unknown to them at that time.
Secondly, you are the one who inserted "relying on Mary" into the text in John 2. It isn't there. Nobody approached Mary to do anything about the problem. It simply says, "Jesus' mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.'" (verse 3). Yes, Mary DID intercede with Jesus (verse 4 and following). Yes, Mary DID exercise authority over the servants (verse 5). But nowhere does it show any person approaching Mary to do something about the problem. She took the initiative herself.
Some saints (disciples) healed folks. But it was never according to their own power. At times, Jesus almost seemed to convey to us that if you truly want a miracle done, don't ask a disciple. Look at Luke 9 re: a bread & fish miracle: "You [meaning his disciples] give them something to eat" (Luke 9:13). He said this prior to doing any miracle! Their response? "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish--unless we go & buy food for all this crowd." Jesus told them to physically intercede for the people and they failed to do so, demonstrating that once again, it was left to the realm of His initiative.
Because their contact with the Head is vital, and when one part of the body prays to the Head, it represents the entire body (just like when one part of the body hurts, all of it hurts). I'm not praying to the knee my asking them to pray. No, instead, they are praying to the Head.
Do you think we're stupid enough to think that saints who got to heaven by the grace of God work miracles through their own power? Kindly give us some credit ... we've only been thinking about this stuff for 2000 years.
Just shaking my head in amazement. What this amounts to saying is that when you do X, Y, and Z, it's okay. When Catholics do X, Y, and Z, it's not. I give up.
Precisely! Now you understand exactly what Catholics are doing when we ask a departed saint to pray to the Head, i.e. Christ, on our behalf!
God transcends time. A prayer made a million billion years from now may have been granted yesterday.
You just did. You can only believe in a church run by sinless men, I take it?
Will no one address this?
No, because it's a phony version of the story.
3 And when the wine failed, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
Nowhere does it say the wedding party 'petitioned' Mary. Plus, they would not 'know' to ask Jesus for a miracle, since as he replied to Mary, "mine hour is not yet come".
NO, you are asking more people to go to the head.
I've had very limited FR time for the last few years, it's refreshing to see you still taking folks out behind the woodshed.
I've always enjoyed, and learned alot, from your posts.
That's what's great about Our Lady, she loves her children so much she petitions her Son before they even ask.
Yes, that's why I pray to Him. Deceased humans are not omniscient and omnipresent. That why I personally do not pray to them.
So the first hit is free?
Look at Luke 9 re: a bread & fish miracle: "You [meaning his disciples] give them something to eat"
Sounds like Jesus wanted the Apostles to intermediate the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Jesus told them to physically intercede for the people and they failed to do so
But they did physically intercede. The miracle wouldn't mean much if they didn't actually distribute the loaves and fishes. And He certainly need the Apostles to intercede. So why didn't He just have it fall from the sky like manna instead of involving them? You know - to demonstrate that only direct interaction with Him is acceptable.
I've made a distinction in many posts on this thread, so let me try to offer it up one more time. Let me put it this way:
If I ask someone in the body of Christ to pray for me, the rather extreme likelihood is that I've already (and am continuing) taking that very same request directly to Christ/the Father. It's not an either/or proposition. It's both.
I know with many RC folks, praying to the saints to them is likewise a "both" issue: They pray to God; they pray to saints; some pray to angels. They cover all bases, so to speak.
If my requests of the Body of Christ to pray for me ever becomes a substitute for me praying directly to God, then I've got "substitute" problems (what the Bible frames as "idolatry").
All I'm saying, based on those newspaper ads (and keep citing them because that's the only "scientific" judgment I can make about RC w/out judging others' hearts), is that there appears to be a "substitute" issue. Do you agree or disagree?
Saints, in this world or the next, are not omnipotent. Nor are they omniscient. And when a certain portion of RC convey the message to the world that their reliance is upon saints for deliverance of some type, it's not the message of the Bible. It's not the gospel.
So she can see into the future? Just like God the Father? That's scary theology.
Correction: He certainly DIDN'T need the Apostles to intercede, but He clearly WANTED them to.
All who are in paradise are experiencing the beatific vision. They know the future because they are beholding God, who is imparting all His wisdom to them in perpetuity. First and foremost, the Blessed Virgin Mary, --spouse of the Holy Spirit, mother of Jesus.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.Apoc 6:9-11 (emphasis added). It is not merely coincidental that the remains of St. Paul, martyr, are under the altar of a church that bears his name, just as the remains of St. Peter, martyr, are under the altar of a church that bears his name. The practice of venerating the saints and their relics is indeed apolostic, and it is attested by Scripture.
Benedictus Deus in angelis suis et in sanctis suis.
She saw that there was no more wine, and did something about it. And Jesus responded to her request.
I can understand praying to Mary rather than Jesus, since she would be more inclined to hear my pray, having died a horrible death just for me... Whoops.. Did I get that backwards?