The small doors on the front are closed. I guess the thing I want to figure out is: is the floor of the Confessio Petri at the same level (give or take a foot) as the ground upon which the Trophy was built, such that a person at the niche is in the same place as a 2nd-century pilgrim? Number 20 is the Clivus, see Mausoleum S on its right? It’s an incredible visit, whether you’re catholic or not. There is no evidence that he died there,no witnesses at all. :-). Although, I am not Catholic nor a very religious person, I have to say that the evidence presented during the tour left me with no doubt that these are indeed the bones of Peter. I’m a bit confused as to the layout. Yeah, it’s a puzzling question indeed! Front and side diagrams of the Niche of the Pallia.Photo: saintpetersbasilica.org Click to enlarge. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Waldenses condemned these excesses and, Bible in hand, explained that Peter had never been to Rome. The woman with me found it too warm and humid and early on had to go back, but I continued with the group. I did not make an appointment ahead of time, but went to the Scivia office with my Carmelite sister who was in a in a wheelchair and who had on previous trips by herself been allowed to go without a guide to pray near St. Peter’s grave/tomb. The Vatican Grottoes is the grave yard of the Vatican City. I’m sorry for the profusion of evidence taken in your article, but the truth is quite different: St. Peter was never buried in the Vatican. ), There are those who do not agree that the “trophy of Gaius” (if that is what has been found) is a tomb. The church must have those. The so called bones of St Peter cannot be seen fully by the public. . Thanks, Chun! At the end of the sixth century, believers used to throw carefully weighed pieces of material onto the “tomb.” “Remarkably,” said one contemporary account, “if the faith of the supplicant is firm, when the cloth is retrieved from the tomb, it will be full of divine virtue and will weigh more than it did previously.” This indicates the level of credulity at that time. Thanks again for your sharing! Again nobody can determine where he was buried. Where does this tour end and would it lead to a gate out to the Vatican to avoid the long wait? I just read “The Bones of St. Peter” and was having trouble visualizing it all. Let me invite you to read all the previous comments where the subject has been discussed. I would guess these were about at my eye level or a little above. Thanks Carolina for your complete explanation of the Necropolis. Plus, you are not allowed to ask questions during the tour, you’re insrtructed to wait until the end of the tour. The drawing in the previous paragraph is also the blue portion. St Theresa did the same,she went to the Colosseum first. You have it backwards. Associated Press in Vatican City Sun 24 Nov 2013 07.46 EST 07.46 EST Pope Francis holds the relics of Saint Peter on the altar during a mass at St Peter's Square at the Vatican. We participated in the tour of the necropolis today and looked at the proclaimed bones of St. Peter. Now, I’ve mentioned that the tour guide was (in my view) very sneaky and she wouldn’t give us all the information at the exact moment we were seeing the tomb, so…. Iam sure this added knowledge will only strengthen my faith. However, not everybody agreed. Scientists are always trying to reveal the secrets of the past, but we all must recognize that these are not exact sciences, that the passing of time and what’s left for us to see and analyze may present a fragmented picture. Constantine ordered the building of the first Vatican Basilica over what was believed to be his grave and the present Basilica is built on the same spot. She said, archaeological and circumstantial evidence point to this fact and Christians choose to believe that they are real. It's likely that his grave is under there somewhere, but there's no way of knowing for sure. In this model we can see wall g on the right side of the Trophy. Grazie! evidence and there is contradictions between the facts in the Bible and those of the Vatican. Well, please do come back and let me know how it went! What is more, a guide to Rome, edited by Catholic Cardinal Poupard and published in 1991, said that “scientific examination of the human bones found under the foundations of the Red Wall did not seem to bear any relation to the apostle Peter.” Strangely enough, in the following edition (later in 1991), the phrase disappeared, and a new chapter, entitled “A Certainty: Peter at St. Peter’s,” was added. Peter was one of Twelve Apostles who accompanied Jesus. As I’ve said before, it’s a matter of each person’s faith… in my opinion it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. The tomb is inside. I’m still puzzling this over in my head (and I’ve ordered a copy of the book Tim York mentioned in his comment below, which may clear the whole thing up—I can’t shake this!). I wish I’d done a bit more research before going because really, once you’re there, you don’t know what to expect and the tour goes by so quickly, by the time you reach the end, you’re not quite sure what it was you saw. (It can be gotten at Amazon.com and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore this subject in-depth. […] fully-illustrated guide to St. Peter’s […], […] which may be the most interesting course I have taken in college, our professor brought us to the Vatican Necropolis, which are the excavations under St. Peters Basilica that were discovered in the 1940s when the […], A privilege for all the Christians to visit the scene of the sacred tomb of the first pope st. peter. If you look closely to the two following diagrams (though dimensions do not match between them), you’ll see the Niche of the Pallia is actually part of Gaius Trophy. St Paul would have told you so,if he was,all Paul said that Mark was with him. St Peter’s Basilica. All those, then, that make their way to what they sincerely believe to be Peter’s tomb in order to ‘meet his successor’ are faced with the problem of whether to accept ‘unreliable traditions’ or to believe the trustworthy Word of God. I have no idea if the cloth is still in existence, they don’t show it to you anywhere. Go to the book of Revelation. I hope you have an amazing time! Photo: vatican.va Click to enlarge, Composite view of the south side of the Trophy from the Virtual 360° tour of the Vatican Necropolis. But you’re right… it is pretty humid and confined and warm… Spaces are pretty small and it is dimly lit. At this point in the tour you’re in a corridor outside of Mausoleum S on its south side, not actually in it: Composite view of the corridor next to Mausoleum S from the 3D virtual tour of the Vatican Necropolis at www.vatican.va, Remains of original Tomb of St Peter. The Vatican had long held the tradition that Peter was buried under the basilica, but even as late as the 1930s, they didn’t really have any proof. I believe the real tomb is the one found just outside of Jerusalem. Here’s a link to the book: http://rizzoli.rcslibri.corriere.it/libro/5801_i_giorni_della_tempesta_socci.html. That’s right, Gaius Trophy is right behind the mosaic veneer and marble covering. I do not recall anything being said about their being in plexiglass or glass containers. The development of this mission can save the Church from suicide and the world from a catastrophic self-destruction … In this exciting novel, based on real documents, Antonio Socci leads us to rediscover the extraordinary figure of Maria Valtorta and trace a common thread between the origins of Christianity and our gloomy present.”. Hi, Greg! It is my understanding that there are several theories and any of them can be as true or as false as the “official” proclaimed by the Vatican. Why should you consider visiting the Necropolis? 30 years after Jesus’ death Peter was killed during the persecution of Christians by emperor Nero (as I discussed in the first article). Only one person at a time could go into the pathway up to the outer wall to look inside the chamber. The reason for this is a practical one since the Vatican became an independent country that was protected and cannot be attacked and thus the tombs were safe there. Model of Gregory I’s altar on top of the Tomb of St Peter.Photo: mcsmith.blogs.com. Also, by the sounds of it, it would seem that different guides may use different “routes” inside the site or even different guidelines to conduct the visits as I myself was allowed to see the rests of Gaius Trophy (which is under Constantine’s monument) from both the north and the south, And I did see the graffiti wall and the small plexiglass containers. Composite picture from Rai Video Secrets of a Basilica. The most prominent of the twelve apostles of... Saint Peter's Basilica. “The excavation has revealed no certain traces of a grave beneath the Aedicula; nor indeed can there be any certainty that St. Peter’s body was ever recovered from the executioners for burial by the Christian community. The second is that the levelling of the Vatican Hill to construct the old basilica required that the whole complex, including the Clivus, Field P, and the surrounding tombs, be buried under a number of feet of earth and that the Trophy was removed and replaced at the new ground level directly above where it had been, and the basilica was then built around that place with everything below it being buried. – part 2 – (the grave). I was searching for tomb of st peter on google, then i found this. I was completely captivated. Can you see it? I think our best bet would be for you to receive the book, give it a thorough look and come back and let us know what you found out! I wasn`t bothered about St Peter`s. Here’s a reconstruction drawing of the Clivus: Next, you go up a flight of stairs. I will be visiting sept of 1213 and appreciate the info. Another indication that archaeologists believe points to this being the real tomb of the Apostle Peter is an inscription in a tiny piece of stone that fell from the Red Wall, that is believed to have said “Petros eni” which means “Peter is here”. I think about my trip there every day, although it was made 15 years ago. This would imply a LOT of natural levelling of the slope on which Field P was located in the eighty years or so between burial and the building of the Trophy, but maybe the very existence of the Red Wall implies that this amound of earth-shifting was taking place and a retaining wall was thus needed. This is a place for all people who want to share their opinion openly. There was a tour group ready to begin their tour, but a woman who was with us and myself were not able to accompany this English-speaking group because there was no room for us. Here’s a closer view from Maxwell School of Syracuse University. I was away for a few days. The reason is very simple: the analysis of carbon 14 have proven to be a man of about 65-70 years, but at the date of the death of Peter 62-65 AD Close up of the Confessio at Saint Peter’s Basilica.Photo: Maxwell College of Syracuse University. About the years 60-61 C.E., Paul wrote his letters to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, Philemon, and the Hebrews; about 65 C.E., he wrote his second letter to Timothy. The one we would believe to have been a The most significant is Peter himself. This video was also made on the basis of … I saw only parts of 2. I have had a replica of that mosaic made for me and would like to have some history the original image. Page of 7 Sort By. Thanks for your comment! Here’s another view: Composite image of the south column of the Trophy fom Rai Video Secrets of a Basilica. I remember making my way downstairs to the Papal Grottoes alone, and there being not another single person in sight. It is not a secret place and any one can visit the Vatican Grottoes which is a major tourist attraction in Italy. Do come back and share your experience when you go to the Necropolis! Certainly a motivation to keep researching! Hi, Greg! Since in the first century a pagan necropolis stood on what is now the Vatican Hill, numerous human remains were buried in the area, and many have already been recovered. Are you planning on visiting the Vatican Necropolis? Along with the interpretations, however, there were also the counterarguments. In order to assert its supremacy over other Christian denominations, the Catholic Church has sought to accredit the ‘late and less reliable’ tradition that states that Peter resided for some time in Rome. I put online a part of my dossier on the “Tomb of St. Peter.” I challenge anyone to refute my thesis. Your email address will not be published. It’s fascinating and I’m definitely going to do the tour next time we go to Rome. Subscribe to Cultural Travel Guide by Email. Later on Pope Callixtus II (1123) had another altar covering the one from Pope Gregory. Thank you so much for your comment, Brother Gabriel! The first burial took place in the cemetery Ostrianum and then his body was moved several times. Thanks Carolina. In the second article we went one by one through the mausoleums in the Vatican Necropolis tour, explaining each major highlight. © 1960, Hawthorn Books. It is my understanding that when we say “bones” we are referring to fragments of bones… what you can actually see are just fragments of bones in small plexiglass boxes. Early Christians used to go to the Vatican hill because that's where they believed St Peter was buried. Yet, why not stick to the facts recorded in the Bible, the only source of firsthand information about Peter? . I hope this hasn’t been addressed already. Specifically you can go to http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Necropolis/MG/TheTombofStPeter-1.htm to read the classic book by Margherita Guarducci which deals with the excavations and ancient tradition of St. Peter’s tomb under the Vatican basilica. These traditions developed side by side with the unscriptural veneration of relics. After my research my understanding was that what is actually behind the Niche of the Pallia was the tomb itself, which is why the Pallia are placed there before they are given to bishops, because it’s such a sacred place. etc. Photo: mcsmith.blogs.com. Last time we were in Mausoleum S and I’d told it was mostly filled by the foundations for Bernini’s Baldaquino. Level 2: The Papal Grottoes in magenta. It is evident that the finds are subject to interpretation and that they say different things to different people. It was also the last before we had to leave, sad to say. Photo: vatican.va. However, I haven’t been able to find any other evidence mentioning any red stone as a grave marker at all. And the YouTube video you posted seems to imply that the Clivus was essentially at the same ground level (gave or take a couple of feet) as the ground upon which the Trophy was built. They claim it’s the actual tomb as it were in the first century. I am a convinced Catholic, but the truth today may be disclosed without any damage. That’s why I’ve encouraged every person who has written here telling me they’re going on a tour of the Scavi, to come back and help me correct any mistakes I may have made. Hi, David! Rather, he defined himself as “a fellow elder.” (1 Peter 5:1-6, Revised Standard Version) The humble figure of Peter contrasts with the pomp surrounding his supposed tomb, as can be seen by any visitor to the Vatican Basilica. They remained inside the niche until the excavations in 1941 when they were taken to a nearby location up to 1953. 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