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In Rome, found the tomb of the Apostle Paul

December 12 2006
17:01

Another discovery of archaeologists has returned one of the world's greatest shrines of Christianity. In Rome, was found the sarcophagus, which, according to experts, the remains of the apostle St. Peter's - one of the founders of the Christian Church and the Roman episcopate.

The sarcophagus, found in the crypt under the altar of the basilica of St. Peter's, dates back to at least 390 AD. Oe. According to legend, here lie the remains of the apostle, but the tomb remained hidden altar. The inscription on the lid of the sarcophagus reads: Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul, the Apostle, martyr)

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Now it will be open for visits and pilgrimage. However, so far unknown, whether in the relics of Saint Paul. It will be clear that if the Pope Benedict XVI will allow to open the sarcophagus.

"The cemetery was sacred object of worship. Sarcophagus can be tomb monument, cenotaph, which was erected in the name of a saint and as such had the same value as the tomb itself, - said archaeologist Giorgio Filippi. - No matter what's inside He is the tomb of St. Paul.

During the excavations, which lasted from May to November this year, the sarcophagus was removed from the mass of cement, which was flooded during the reconstruction. It was conducted after the fire, which destroyed the cathedral in 1823.

The Apostle Paul - the greatest preacher of Christianity in the I century AD. Oe. among the Gentiles, so it was called the "apostle of the Gentiles." Paul was the son of wealthy Jewish parents. Originally his name was Saul.

He persecuted Christians, participated in Stoning protomartyr deacon Stephen, and then went in search of Christians in Damascus. On the way there with him was a miracle: "Suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He said: 'Who are you, Lord? "And the Lord said: I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said: Lord, what wilt thou have me do? "And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and with open eyes saw no one. led him by the hand, and brought to Damascus. And three days he had not seen and not eaten nor drank "(Acts of the Apostles 9, 3-9).

After treatment the life of the Apostle Paul is a continuous history of missionary labors, which he tirelessly committed to the whole vast area stretching from the depths of Asia Minor to Rome.

Through his preaching formed centers of Christianity around the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, on which he made several voyages, repeatedly getting into the wreck. He served the Lord with devotion, disregarding difficulties and dangers. His life, he graduated in Rome, where condemned by the Emperor Nero, was executed along with the apostle Peter. The activities of the Apostle Paul expressed not only in the missionary, but in writing: it owns 14 letters included in the New Testament.

Constantine Dyatlov

The Source: ITAR-TASS, BBC, Pravoslavie.ru, Prosveschenie.ru


Константин Дятлов

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