Skip to comments.Vatican Discovery Proves to be Apostle Peter's Burial Ground (?)
Posted on 04/02/2003 4:36:00 PM PST by jimtorr
An important archaeological discovery was made in the Vatican when a site for construction of car parking was being cleared.
Archaeologists discovered an ancient necropolis of the times of St. Apostle Peter, the same that is mentioned in the Gospel. Now this version is studied by historians; if it proves true, this in its turn will confirm another hypothesis suggested by historian Magrherita Guarducci. She supposes that an entombment of St. Apostle Peter was found under the altar that is situated under the St.Peter's basilica dome.
This version has been waiting for confirmation or refutation since 1952.
Director of Vatican museums Francesco Buranelli and archbishop Francesco Marchisano, the minister of the Vatican cultural wealth, have confirmed that the discovery is of top-priority importance. The statement was made at the time when archaeologists haven't yet provided final conclusions concerning the discovery.
At the site of archeological dig historians discovered remains, two sarcophagi, Christian and pagan, floor mosaic, amphora, fragments of terracotta articles. But further digging changed opinion of the scientists. Necropolis dated from the Nero epoch includes both, Christian and pagan entombments. Buranelli says: "These are first burial grounds of Christians, the first made after those found under the St.Peterís basilica in the Vatican, the first after Saint Apostle Peterís grave. We made a decision to present the findings in a complete historical condition as soon as the works will be finished."
I think that Joni was the first to record it. Lots of folks have covered it. I do think Amy Grant did one of the better versions.
I haven't listened to Joni much since Webb Hubble named his daughter after one of her songs.
I have been there and have seen with my own eyes. When the grave of Peter was discovered in the 1950's, the bones were accompanied by graffiti proclaiming his identity and position as Jesus' chosen leader of the apostles. All bones were there except for the feet. Peter traditionally was crucified in an upside down position because he said he was not worthy to be executed the same as Jesus was. The feet are missing, it is believed, because he would have been brought down from the cross by cutting off his feet. Peter's grave, while directly below the main altar of St. Peter's, is immediately below the altar in the chapel of St. Gregory. That chapel, by the way is built in the shape of an upside down cross.
In 1994, when I was in Rome, we celebrated mass in St Gregory's chapel. Later that day, as we were finishing our tour of the archeological digs, the last part of the tour was seeing St Peter's bones, which have been placed in a clear case donated to the Vatican by the USA. The exit door let us out into the chapel where we had celebrated mass that morning. It was then that we realized the bones were reposed inches below the St. Gregory's Chapel altar. I hope that clears up the confusion.
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