Monday, June 29, 2009

A Day of St Paul

The Telegraph reports that archaeologists have uncovered a 1,600 year old image of St Paul, the oldest one known of, in a Roman catacomb.

A photograph of the icon shows the thin face of a bearded man with large eyes, sunken nose and face on a red background surrounded with a yellow circle – the classic image of St Paul.

The image was found in the Catacomb of St Thekla, close to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, which is said to be built on the site where he was buried.

In a further development, the Pope announced that scientific tests confirmed that shards found in the underground chamber at the church of St Paul's-Outside-the-Walls in Rome were someone who lived in the first or second century.

The scientists found "traces of a precious linen cloth, purple in colour, laminated with pure gold, and a blue coloured textile with filaments of linen," Benedict said.

"It also revealed the presence of grains of red incense and traces of protein and limestone. There were also tiny fragments of bone, which, when subjected to Carbon 14 tests by experts, turned out to belong to someone who lived in the first or second century."

The Pope said that "This seems to confirm the unanimous and undisputed tradition that these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,"