I am 96% confident of these two lists.
They are more accurate than any other list I have seen.
Most of you have probably seen at least a picture of this imposing, ~6′ tall marble tablet listing the names of the popes buried in St. Peter’s, under the Latin inscription SUMMI PONTIFICES IN HAC BASILICA SEPULTI (Supreme Pontiffs buried in this Basilica).
This tablet, in St. Peter’s is to the right of the entrance to the sacristy – that being the rather large ‘annex’ to the left of the main Basilica (when facing it). You reach it from the left aisle under the huge monument to Pius VIII (#254), pictured below.
The Vatican’s marble tablet lists 148 popes up to and including John Paul II (#266).
This 148 number is optimistic.
The actual number of popes now believed to be buried within the precincts of St. Peter’s is 137, possibly 138 or maybe 139 — and that includes the original Stephen (II) (#92), a bona fide pope albeit for four days, who is indeed buried there though NOT listed in the marble tablet.
WHY THE DISCREPANCY?
The problem is that the list on the tablet does not reflect some bodies that were transferred away from St. Peter’s after they had been initially buried there.
St. Sixtus I (#7) is a good example. There is a wonderful story about what happened to the body of Sixtus I (which I recounted in my first book). Tradition maintains that Sixtus I was martyred (though this was unlikely) and buried under what is now St. Peter’s Basilica. It is also said that in 1132 Innocent II (#165), at the bidding of the residents of Alife [Italy], granted them Sixtus I’s relics. But the mule carrying the relics from Rome refused to go beyond Alatri [Italy]. So, the relics were interned at the Alatri Cathedral with Alfie just getting a finger bone.
But, his name appears on the marble tablet, thus making us rethink that old adage about things chiseled in stone – in this case, ‘soft,’ most likely Carrera, marble.
Here is THE list of the 13 popes that appear on the marble tablet but have since been translated to other locations:
1. St. Sitxus (#7) –> Alatri Cathedral, Italy
2. St. Anicetus (#11) –> Palazzo Altemps, Rome
3. St. Sorter (#12) –> San Martino ai Monti, Rome
4. St. Eleutherius (#13) –> Santa Susanna, Rome
5. Vigilius (#59) –> Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, Rome
6. St. Paschal I (#99) –> Santa Prassede, Rome
7. John XVIII (XIX) (#142) –> St. John Lateran or San Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome
8. Honorius IV (#191) –> Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome
9. Eugene IV (#208) –> San Salvatore in Lauro, Rome
10. Callistus III (#210) –> Santa Maria de Monserrato degli Spagnoli, Rome
11. Pius II (#211) –> Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome
12. Alexander VI (#215) –> Santa Maria de Monserrato degli Spagnoli, Rome
13. Pius III (#216) –> Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome
So that is -13 [i.e., minus 13].
However, that has to be offset by 2 popes that are not on the marble tablet, but are indeed buried at St. Peter’s. These two are: Stephen (II) (#92) & John XI (#126).
Then we have Leo VIII (#132). Nobody knows where he is buried. Some suspect that he is indeed buried at St. Peter’s. So he gets the benefit of the doubt.
We also have the same problem with the pope hat succeeded him, Benedict V (#133). Again nobody can determine where he was buried. However, in his case, people are not as sure whether he is buried at St. Peter’s.
So here is how the numbers reconcile. 148 on the tablet. But we know 13 were translated away. So that is 148-13 which gives us 135. Then we have to ADD Stephen (II) and John XI. That takes us up to 137.
Whether we then add Leo VIII and Benedict V dictates whether we go with 138 or 139.
OK? Get the drift. Study the list.
We also need to take into account that today’s magnificent Basilica, in its current grandiose form, now the second largest in the world, hasn’t always been there.
Initially, c. 60 AD, it was an open field, on top of a mound, on the outskirts of Rome. There was no building or structure. We have to take it on faith that those that succeeded St. Peter (#1) were buried close to him.
St. Anacletus (#3), c.76/79 – c.88/92, had a monument (possibly a chapel) built over St. Peter’s tomb. That was the first structure.
In the fourth century, at the behest of Emperor Constantine the Great a small Basilica was built on this site – the so called Old St. Peter’s or the Constantine Basilica. St. Leo ‘the great’ I (#45), in 461, was the first pope to be buried in this Basilica.
In the sixteenth century, Julius ‘the warrior pope’ II (#217), of the Sistine Ceiling fame, commissioned Donato Bramante, the great Italian architect, to build a bigger, grander Basilica around the by now dilapidated old structure. In time the incomparable Michelangelo Buonarroti, having finished the ceiling, designed the imposing timeless dome. Bramante had to do away with nearly all the papal tombs that were located in the old Basilica. Many of the remains were transferred to new locations within the new Basilica.
THE DEFINITIVE LISTS
Please click the pictorial icons below for THE definitive lists of where the popes are buried. They are both relatively small PDFs; i.e., under 150KB.
The color coding in the ‘Final Burial’ column, in the WHERE ALL THE POPES ARE BURIED list, is used to demarcate the different locations, with the most popular of the locations assigned a specific color to facilitate identification.
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From the U.K. ‘Daily Mail‘,
Saturday, August 19, 2017.
I was genuinely worried about what could have happened in Boston today.
Watching this in on TV, live, was so heartening, so encouraging — a SEA of protestors. I am so PROUD, so grateful. This is what I expected of Boston, and Boston did NOT let me down.
THANK YOU, Boston.
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The Cardinal, aged 84, is ailing.
Two Facebook posts by Fr. Churchill
in the last ’24’ hours.
Click to ENLARGE and read here.
Fr. Churchill, STL, extremely gracious, patient and KNOWLEDGABLE, helped me tremendously — always taking time to answer my questions, translate Latin for I (he is both a Latin and theological scholar) and providing me with amazing photographs from his frequent trips to Rome. Two of his pictures grace the covers of my ‘Next Pope‘ books.
Fr. Churchill currently is Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenical Affairs, and Parish Priest of St Michael’s Ashtead, Surrey (U.K.)
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Though I only learned about “Coco” much later in life, I new of Chanel, or at least Chanel No.5, from a very young age. There was no way I could escape. My adoptive mother was inordinately fond of No. 5. It was the ONLY perfume she wore. When she lived in Paris, which she did for 18-years of her life — her last 17-years having been spent there — she maintained a large horde of Chanel No. 5 bottles. She would dole them out, liberally, as gifts — my generosity but a mere reflection of hers. So, given her fondness to Chanel it would be remiss of me NOT to have noted this birthday. Hard to believe that she was born in the 19th century.
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The trailer. Movie nowhere as good.
Watch the trailer. Skip the movie.
There was very little on
the ‘Little Ships of Dunkirk‘.
For a good historical perspective.
Dunkirk (2017) should have been the epitome of a feel good movie — revelling in the gung-ho, Dunkirk spirit of the British, the 850 Little Boats that crossed the channel to rescue 400,000 trapped soldiers — the pulling together that happened. Instead it was a very loud, special effects spectacular.
It was all drama, NO heroism.
It snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
It was a movie for kids, video gaming addicts — not for mature adults, and DEFINITELY NOT for patriotic Brits like I. Americans love it. Many believe that there these are Americans being rescued. Forgive them, they were never taught history.
Yes, the bravery and heroism of Spitfire pilots are highlighted.
But, there is hardly NOTING on the Little Boat Flotilla! Just a passing reference so to speak — though to be fair, one of the three parallel threads of movie is all about ONE such boat. But, we just see a fleeting ALLUSION to the other 849 boats.
I was very disappointed. I went expecting to come out UPLIFTED, gung ho … full of the Dunkirk Spirit.
Read some of the IMDb.com reviews. There are others that feel the same way.
The soundtrack was obnoxious. Appears that it was intentionally made LOUD.
I can NOT recommend this movie. I will not watch it again, even when it becomes available on ‘TV’.
I wouldn’t even bother to give this two thumbs down. It just needs a kick up its ugly backside.
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