Rome Blog 1 of 4
There is more to Rome than meets the eye. To really feel part of Rome, its history and its culture, it is a ‘must’ to delve below the surface in order to get a taste of what life was like in ancient times – even if it means mingling with the ashes of the dead. Together with the staff and students of the College, the three of us arrived at the Basilica of St Peter for a ‘Scavi’ tour. Scavare is the Italian verb meaning to excavate and the excavations under the basilica over the last century have unearthed remarkable discoveries – the most important of course being the discovery of the tomb and the remains of St Peter.
Here we were, standing below the high altar in St Peter’s basilica only a few metres away from the revered bones of the first vicar of Christ. ‘Thou art Peter (Pietro) and on this rock (pietra) I will build my Church.’ It was only in 1965 that the Holy Father Pope Paul VI, after years of excavation and analysis, was able to proclaim to the whole world: “We have found the tomb of St Peter and his remains.” Many other remains of the dead had been examined, analysed and discarded. What made these particular remains authentic, discovered in the necropolis – the city of the dead ?
See Blog 2