In a surprise announcement, Pope Benedict XVI said the human remains found in an ancient Roman tomb may belong to the Apostle Paul. Now the Vatican wants to open the sarcophagus to conduct further tests.
Carbon dating showed that the bone fragments belonged to someone who lived between the first and the second century AD, the pontiff said. “This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” added Benedict.
Paul – born Saul – had actively persecuted Christians, but converted after seeing Jesus in a vision while on the road to Damascus. He is believed to have been beheaded in the year 67 in Rome after years of travel as an early missionary to spread the message of Jesus.