Vatican City, Dec 5, 2006 / 22:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).Vatican archaeologists say they have conclusive evidence that a Roman tomb, located in St Paul Outside the Walls, the largest church in Rome after St Peter's, belonged to St. Paul.
The tomb has been long-revered by tradition as that of St. Paul; however, archaeologist Giorgio Filippi says that scientific evidence now backs up the evidence of tradition that the tomb belongs to the great Saint of the Early Church.
Filippi said his team had found a Roman sarcophagus "exactly underneath the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the Apostle and Martyr) at the base of the cathedral's main altar," reported ANSA.
"It has a hole on top through which pieces of cloth could be pushed, touching the relic and becoming holy in their turn," Filippi reportedly said.
Paul was a Roman Jew, born in Tarsus, in modern-day Turkey, who started out trying to fight Christianity but later converted after seeing a shining light on the road to Damascus.
The Saint, who called himself the Apostle to the Gentiles, was a great traveler and writer. His 14 letters, which form part of the New Testament, are largely written to churches that he had founded or visited.