According to The Telegraph, bone fragments belonging to none other than Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, were reportedly found recently during a restoration of the Church of Santa Maria, a 1000-year-old church in Rome.
The discovery was made as a worker raised a marble slab near the church’s medieval altar. Underneath, he found two pots from ancient Rome bearing inscriptions that suggest the contents are bone fragments of not only Saint Peter, who is seen as the first pope, but the bones of three other early popes: Cornelius, Callixtus, and Felix.
The workers immediately retrieved Santa Maria’s deacon, Massimiliano Floridi. Speaking later to an Italian TV station, Floridi said, “There were two clay pots which were inscribed with the names of early popes – Peter, Felix, Callixtus and Cornelius. I’m not an archaeologist but I understood immediately that they were very old. Looking at them, I felt very emotional.”
The Vatican has received the remains, and will be conducting a comprehensive examination.
“We’re waiting for a detailed study to be undertaken,” said Floridi. “A DNA comparison between these bones and those kept by the Vatican would shed light on the issue.”
The Vatican is not commenting on the discovery at this time, and there is not yet any information as to how the pots came to be interred at Santa Maria.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large