An Astonishing Picture

This gives me chills: the first pope and the current pope. Pope Francis holds a casket with the pitiful remains of St. Peter. Almost the entire scope of the Church’s history captured in a single image. Astonishing, moving, powerful. What must have Francis been thinking at that moment?

The remains [UPDATE: See comment below]:

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • J.D. Locke

    Aren’t those St. Peter’s remains? I’m pretty sure they’re not those of St. Paul…

  • Thomas L. McDonald


  • Stefanie

    It left a huge impact on me — and I have accepted, prayed for, and supported Pope Francis from Day One (as I would do so for any of our popes). Even looking at that photo…so deep our Catholic roots go. It makes one mute and contemplative.
    I kept expecting Pope Francis to cradle Peter in his arms like he did at WYD with the image of Our Lady. I’m sure he wanted to!
    The image again reminded me of Cardinal George at the election of Pope Benedict — to paraphrase: the thrill of knowing that the successor to Peter is before you — even though Peter died right there — and the Church seemed to be in its death throes — in Rome, through the risen Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter indeed lives, the Church lives. The Church is not dead; it is alive!

  • John Jay Comerford

    The bones in the b/w picture are of peter’s bones in the Scavi under St. Peter’s basilica. The bones Francis was holding were kept in the papal apartments since the bones were identified during the reign of Paul VI, These 8 or so bones have remained in the papal apartments ever since. The skull fragments of both Peter and Paul are in golden urns with busts in the canopy above the altar of St. John Lateran Cathedral in Rom and have been there since 300′s. No skull or fot bones in scavi. When crucified upside down, it was–sadly–custom to chop the deceased down by cutting the feet off at the ankle with an axe.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    I deleted the anti-Catholic crank who slipped by the filters, so I also killed the replies since they’d just be floating out there in the air, confusing people.

    I don’t have an open combox policy. Error has no rights.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Sorry folks: I’m closing comments. Troll infestation. I don’t sit here monitoring comboxes to tamp down every liar with a keyboard. If your protestant/skeptic/atheist brain can’t accept that Pope Francis is the latest in a line of leaders stretching back to St. Peter, appointed by Christ himself to lead the One True Church, then we have nothing to say to each other. It’s not a subject that’s open for debate.