The blog of a group of Filipino Catholics and their frank commentary on anything that affects their lives as a citizen of the Philippines and as a Roman Catholics.
Many of us never realize that because of the secrecy of the burial site, there was never any confirmation that Peter was indeed buried under the present day St Peter's Basilica even if everyone in Rome knew that underneath the Church and the Piazza is a necropolis (or city of the dead or the underground Roman cemetery commonly called catacombs). But the the traditional belief persisted until the 1900s that Peter was indeed laid to rest beneath the main altar. The secrecy started from the Barbarian period when they have to hide Christian artifacts, symbols, relics, and sites lest they be ransacked and destroyed. Originally Peter was buried on the ground. But the first shrine during Constantine's time was made of a vertical slab with a nich and a hole in it, and in it was placed a stone with no markings. Everyone knew it was Peter's tomb but only a few knew that the hole contains the actual bones and no longer the ground beneath. When the construction of the new Basilica was completed under Pope Paul V, the Basilica was actually built OVER the old Church, and the main alter was built 3 floors below the Constantine altar. In this manner, the verbal tradition that Peter was buried underneath persisted but never confirmed. After the war, Pius XII commissioned some archaelogists but was not able to complete them. The task went on with Prof. Margheritta Guarducci. Digging the ground beneath the vertical shrine, they found several bones, but to their dismay, these bones belong to several persons as revealed by the medical exams. They also saw the hole on the wall, and in removing the stone block cover, the found a wooded box, and in it was a small red sack container which was tied with golden threads, and this contained some bones. No marking found at that time, so they set this aside and almost forgot about where they put it. They resumed digging the soil underneath only to be dismayed with more bones from different persons of different ages and sex. Finally, they saw the stylus grafitti on the stone covering the hole on the wall with the words in Greek: PETROS ENI (Peter is here). It was only then they realized that the box that contained a red cloth sack sealed with golden thread was a symbol of royalty. Upon medical examination, they found the bones inside the sack to belong to a tall elderly man at his 70s-80s. Carbon dating revealed that this was indeed some 2000 years old. All these clues finally led them to conclude that indeed it was Peter. This was only confirmed during the earlier years of Paul VI. Finally a scientific proof that Peter indeed was in Rome contrary to some detractors of the Church who assert that Peter was never in Rome, and finally a hard evidence for the centuries old tradition of Peter's burial ground which proved that it was no myth.Indeed God works in mysterious manners to prove that Christ will be his Church until the end of time, the CHurch he built on Peter, and up to now, the gates of Hades have not reached it yet as he promised. Despite the mystery that it is, the See of the Church of Peter was indeed physically built on the tomb of the man he commissioned to FEED his Sheep. Laudetur Jesus Christus!Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam.Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia!