Saint Peter's Grave

Saint Peter's Bones discovered in 1968!

In 1942, the Administrator of St. Peter's, Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, found remains in a second tomb in the monument. Being concerned that these presumed relics of a saint would not be accorded the respect they deserved, and having little understanding of correct archeological procedures, he secretly ordered these remains stored elsewhere for safe-keeping.

The building of the first St. Peter's Basilica during the reign of Constantine I, was constructed about AD 330.  Though many bones have been found at the shrine, as the result of two campaigns of archaeological excavation, Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that none could be confirmed to be Saint Peter's with absolute certainty

After Kaas's death (April 1952), Professor Margherita Guarducci discovered these relics by chance. She informed Pope Paul VI of her belief that these remains were those of Saint Peter. Bone testing revealed that the remains belonged to a man in his sixties. On June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI announced that the relics of Saint Peter had been discovered. On November 24, 2013, these relics were held by Pope Francis and displayed publicly for the first time after celebrating closing 'Year of Faith' Mass.

In 1953 Antonio Ferrua, the archaeologist who headed the excavation that uncovered what is known as Saint Peter's Tomb, said that he wasn't convinced that the bones that were found were those of Saint Peter.

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