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St Paul revisited


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While Wahrheit und Dichting ( ) around the translation of St James to Santiago have faded into the mists of time, we're witnessing now an interesting new chapter as in Rome the tomb of St Paul has been and perhaps will be examined further. Curiously enough the saints seem connected in the process, according to:,_son_of_Zebedee : 'The authenticity of the relics at Compostela was asserted in the Bull of Pope Leo XIII, Omnipotens Deus, of 1 November 1884. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) registered several "difficulties" or bases for doubts of this tradition beyond the late appearance of the legend: St James suffered martyrdom [10] in AD 44, and according to the tradition of the early Church, he had not yet left Jerusalem at this time.[11] St Paul in his Epistle to the Romans written after AD 44, expressed his intention to avoid "building on someone else's foundation" [12], and thus visit Spain [13], presumably unevangelized.'

and a release of the Vatican Information Service of 07.03.2009 - 19th Year - Num. 123 on the:


VATICAN CITY, 3 JUL 2009 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, and Professor Ulderico Santamaria, director of the scientific laboratory of the Vatican Museums, hosted a presentation on the sarcophagus of St. Paul.

Cardinal Cordero explained how two years ago he had suggested to the Pope that the tomb of St. Paul be subject to a scientific examination. Benedict XVI accepted the proposal but ordered that the outcome only be announced at the end of the Pauline Year. Hence it was necessary to keep the results secret until then.

Professor Santamaria dwelt on the technical aspects of the survey, explaining how a small hole was made in the sarcophagus through which a probe was then introduced. Fragments of blue linen, purple linen interwoven with gold thread, grains of red incense and bone fragments were discovered. Carbon dating on organic elements from these finds suggest that they belong to a person who lived in the first or second centuries. "This", the Pope said on 28 June during the closing ceremony for the Pauline Year, "seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul, and it fills our heart with profound emotion".

The cardinal also explained how the Pope does not exclude the possibility of undertaking a more detailed examination of the sarcophagus of St. Paul. However, he went on, the Holy Father did not wish this to take place during the Pauline Year because, in order to open the sarcophagus, it would be necessary to dismantle the papal altar and the thirteenth-century baldachin by Arnolfo di Cambio which, he concluded, would be a difficult and delicate task.



on Paul:
- St Paul revisited on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic6393.html?hilit=paul#p37488
- Re: St Paul revisited on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic6393.html?hilit=paul#p37583
- Paul, the poet of God on pilgrim-books/topic5746.html?hilit=paul#p33591
- Reviews Paul, Paulus or São Paulo by Teixeira de Pascoaes (1 on
- more in
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we're witnessing now an interesting new chapter as in Rome the tomb of St Paul has been and perhaps will be examined further

As you know, Geert, I'm studying in Rome and I live next door to the basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls, where pilgrims venerate the relics of Saint Paul. All through the year we have been focused on Saint Paul, with thousands of pilgrims visiting the basilica. The Holy Father's announcement about the authentication of the relics was, in fact, quite ambiguous. It was a way of closing the Year of St Paul on a 'high note' but in fact there remain many questions about what lies in the reliquary under the altar in the basilica. There is a tradition among the community of Benedictine monks who live alongside Saint Paul's that the reliquary was opened some years ago and was found to contain only animal bones.

In the case of St Peter's relics under the Vatican, a considerable archeological exercise was mounted over a period of years to locate and authenticate the relics. It would not be difficult to establish the true contents of the reliquary in St Paul's - in like manner - but there has always been resistance to that, and I suspect the story that the Benedictines tell is likely to be the reason for that. So please don't be too persuaded by the Holy Father's apparent assurance that these are genuine relics: if you look at the detail of the statement he made, it is quite ambiguous.

These wrangles over the authentication of relics are nothing new, and as Tracy once again begins a new phase of the questioning about the relics of St James versus her hero heretic chappie, including a number of very questionable claims in the interviews she gave to the Spanish press, we might once again remember that the road rarely goes far beyond conjecture.



Active Member
So please don't be too persuaded
I'm not, Gareth, so don't worry! It's not my cup of tea but still I'm fascinated by the mystics and mechanisms. What struck me was how exciting our times are and how history repeats ifself. Perhaps in some years the pilgrims of that era will wonder how this James/Peter/Paul sequel developed and how we dealt with it.

The same wonder struck today reading (about) CARITAS IN VERITATE & DEUS CARITAS EST:

Professor Zamagni pointed out that the Encyclical is favourable "to the concept of the market typical of the civil economy, according to which it possible to experience human coexistence within a normal economic framework, and not outside or on the margins thereof".
"There are", he explained, "three structural factors to the current crisis. The first concerns the radical change in the relationship between finance and the production of goods and services that has become consolidated over the last thirty years. ... The second factor is the spread, at the level of popular culture, of the ethos of efficiency as the ultimate criterion with which to judge and justify economic matters. ... The third cause is connected to the specificity of the cultural environment that has become consolidated over recent decades on the crest, on the one hand, of globalisation and, on the other, of the advent of the third industrial revolution, that of information technology".

Now isn't that the Camino as a micro cosmos mirrored by the macro world in and around the Vatican?

Thank you for reacting! Every day on the beach I'm thinking of you and Tracy living such different lives and worlds and still: to me they look so closely connected too. You're invited on my own (only for 3 weeks in the fall!) sacred mountain in Lemele one day to look back and talk sweet memories of these precious golden years! God Bless!

See in attached Word document: ... dex_en.htm - Caritas in veritate (June 29, 2009) [English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish] + press release VISnews 090707, and ... st_en.html - Deus caritas est (December 25, 2005) [Byelorussian, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]


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