June 29, 2009

Saint Paul -- still making news

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June 30, 2009

Saint Paul made it into the news two days in a row, which is pretty impressive considering he has been dead for nearly 2,000 years.

Times Online (June 29, 2009)
To your right is the oldest picture of St Paul, according to Vatican archaeologist. The 4th-century portrait was found in the catacombs of St Thecla, not far from the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome (pictured below) where church tradition says St Paul was buried.

The portrait shows St Paul with a high-domed forehead, deep-set eyes and a long pointed beard, confirming the image familiar from later depictions.

New York Times (June 28, 2009)

And the day before that story, archaeologists reported they opened the white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and carbon-dated bone fragments found inside.

Pope Benedict XVI said the scientists confirmed that the fragments date from the first or second century. The pope hedged his statement a bit by saying the test "seem to conclude” that the bones belong to St Paul.

From the New York Times article.
“This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” Benedict said, announcing the findings at a service in the basilica to mark the end of the Vatican's Pauline year, in honor of Paul.
It could be true. He has to be buried somewhere.

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