Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-The-Walls is one of the four papal basilicas of Rome, second in size only to Saint Peter’s in Vatican. The church was completed in 395 AD and consecrated to Saint Paul. According to tradition, the basilica contains the mortal rests of the apostle.

On the night of the 15th of July of 1823, the building was consumed by a fire that destroyed great part of the structure.

The reconstruction work was intense from 1825 until 1854, when the basilica, restored to its identical former glory, was consecrated by Pope Gregory XVI.

In 1849 Pope Pius IX ordered the placement of a large statue of St. Paul by sculptor Giuseppe Obici. The plaster model used for the execution of the Carrara marble statue as well as the plaster of the statue of St Paul, were given by Pope Pius IX to the church of St Carlo ai Catinari, where it was placed in a niche in the apse, on the left when facing the altar.

On 6 December 2006, it was announced that Vatican archaeologists had confirmed the presence of a white marble sarcophagus beneath the altar perhaps containing the remains of the Apostle. The sarcophagus was not extracted from its position, so that only one of its two narrow sides is visible.

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