Friday, January 10, 2014

St Peter's Bones

St. Peter's Bones

By Thomas J. Craughwell

Published on Jan 14th 2014 by Crown Publishing/Image

This is a very short book (only around 100 pages), but one which I read avidly. It has a very useful introduction about why relics are preserved and venerated by Catholics and Orthodox alike, and it tells the remarkable and quite spell-binding story of  how the relics of St Peter, amongst those of many other people buried around him, were unearthed during an excavation under St Peter's Basilica in the 1940s.

At that time it was not possible to say with any certainty that the  bones found were indeed the relics of St Peter himself, and the announcement that what was believed to be his tomb had been discovered was only made in 1950, and the boxes of bones were then put away safely. They were only "rediscovered" in the 1960s and subjected to further testing, which along with the detailed facts of where they had been found, made it highly probable that they were in fact the bones of St Peter himself.

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