(Image Credit: Andrew Medichini)
The Vatican on Sunday has revealed publicly what is said to be the bones of St Peter, reigniting the debate and intriguing mystery over whether the spiritual relics truly belong to the first pope.
9 pieces of bone lay nestled in a jewel box, in a bronze display case during a mass commemorating the end of the Vatican’s year long celebration of Christian faith. Never before have the relics been on public display. Pope Francis prayed before the bones at the beginning of the Sunday service and held the case tightly in his arms for several minutes after his homily.
Never before has a pope publicly confirmed the fragments belonged to Jesus’ apostle Peter, however Pop Paul VI back in 1968 said the bones found under St Peters Basilica were “identified in a way that we can consider convincing.”
Even though some archaeologists dispute the claim, Archbishop Rino Fisichella went on to say it almost wouldn’t matter anyway, stating Christian’s have prayed at the tomb for 2 millennia and will continue to do just that.
“It’s not as if pilgrims who go to the altar (of Peter’s tomb) think that in that moment in which they profess their faith that below them are the relics of Peter, or of another or another still,” he told reporters. “They go there to profess the faith.”
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