Peter’s Bones

Vatican Puts St. Peter’s Bones On Display For The First Time

That’s Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome, holding what the church believes are the bone fragments of St. Peter, the apostle and the first bishop of Rome

Pope Francis cradled the relics during a mass at St. Peter’s Square, which marked the end of the global church’s Year of Faith. It was also the first time the Catholic Church has displayed the relics in public.

The Guardian reports there is much mystery and intrigue concerning the eight pieces of bone . No pope has ever definitively said the bones are the remains of St. Peter, but in 1968 Pope Paul VI said the bones found underneath St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican had been “identified in a way that we can consider convincing.”

The AP reports that archaeologists dispute the finding.

But the story is still alluring. The Guardian bases its story on The Ears of the Vatican, the 2012 book by Bruno Bartoloni. According to the book, the relics were discovered in 1939, as archaeologists were excavating in the grottoes of St. Peter’s Basilica to bury Pope Pius XI.

As they worked, they discovered a casket with an engraving in Greek that read, “Peter is here.”

The Guardian continues:

“The scholar of Greek antiquities Margherita Guarducci, who had deciphered the engraving, continued to investigate and learned that one of the basilica workers had been given the remains found inside the casket and stored them in a shoe box kept in a cupboard. She reported her findings to Paul VI, who later proclaimed there was a convincing argument that the bones belonged to Peter.

“Leading Vatican Jesuits and other archaeologists strongly denied the claim, but had little recourse.

“‘No pope had ever permitted an exhaustive study, partly because a 1,000-year-old curse attested by secret and apocalyptic documents, threatened anyone who disturbed the peace of Peter’s tomb with the worst possible misfortune,’ Bartoloni wrote.”


Key Terms…
  • On Display ↔ em exibição
  • holding ↔ segurando
  • bone fragments ↔ fragmentos ósseos
  • cradled ↔ “ninava”
  • mass ↔ missa
  • the remains ↔ os restos mortais
  • the finding ↔ a conclusão
  • alluring ↔ sedutor
  • grottoes ↔ grutas
  • bury ↔ sepultar, enterrar
  • casket ↔ caixão
  • engraving ↔ gravura
  • deciphered ↔ decifrado
  • cupboard ↔ armário
  • belonged to ↔ pertencia a
  • strongly denied ↔ negaram veementemente
  • the claim ↔ a alegação, reivindicação
  • curse ↔ maldição
  • threatened ↔ ameaçaram
  • disturbed the peace ↔ perturbou a paz
  • misfortune ↔ azar


On Display em exibição
The jewels on display disappeared. ↔As joias em exposição desapareceram.
His latest works are on display at the square. ↔Seus últimos trabalhos estão expostos na praça.
His pictures are on display in various European and American museums. ↔Suas telas estão expostas em vários museus da Europa e da América.
cradled “ninava”
cradle a baby
He cradled her head in his hands and lowered his face to hers, his eyes closing. ↔Ele segurava a cabeça dela nas mãos, e abaixou-se, o rosto dele se aproximando do dela, os olhos dele se fechando.
alluring sedutor
an alluring offer/smile/aroma
bury sepultar, enterrar
Their ancestors are buried in the local cemetery.
She was buried in her hometown. ↔Enterram-na em sua cidade natal.
engraving gravura
The engraving on the shield is the same as on the Grail tablet.
curse maldição
It was only after that we learned we needed his blood to lift the curse.
The witch cursed the poor little girl. ↔A bruxa amaldiçoou a pobre garotinha.
disturbed the peace perturbou a paz
It is no longer possible to do anything vocally or physically which will disturb the peace and happiness of others. ↔Não é mais possível fazer ou falar qualquer coisa que perturbe a paz e a alegria dos outros.
misfortune azar
would lead to tremendous misfortune ↔daria um tremendo azar


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