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"Saint Peter's tomb - Going back in time - 1" Top 5 Page for this destination Vatican City Things to Do Tip by Escadora7

Vatican City Things to Do: 794 reviews and 1,492 photos

  St. Peter's Tomb
by Escadora7

The history of the relics of the Apostles Peter and Paul is one which is involved in considerable confusion. There is no doubt where the bodies now are - in the tombs of the Vatican and the Ostian Way respectively - but there is another tomb at the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian which also claims the honour of having at one time received them. One of the assumptions on what really happened is as follows (but is viable for dispute as with all other cool theories :P ) -

There would have been no difficulty in obtaining the bodies of the Apostles after their martyrdom. The bereaved Christians seem to have followed their usual custom in burying both as near as possible to the scene of their sufferings. Each was laid in ground that belonged to Christian proprietors, by the side of well-known roads leading out of the city; St. Paul on the Via Ostiana and St. Peter on the Via Cornelia. In each case the actual tomb seems to have been an underground vault, approached from the road by a descending staircase, and the body reposed in a sarcophagus of stone in the centre of this vault.

These tombs were the objects of pilgrimage during the ages of persecution, and it will be found recorded in the Acts of several of the martyrs that they were seized while praying at the tombs of the Apostles. For two centuries the relics were safe enough in these tombs, public though they were, for the respect entertained by the Romans for any place where the dead were buried preserved them from any danger of sacrilege.

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  • Updated Jun 30, 2005
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