November 24, 2013, Saint Peter, the first Pope of the Holy Roman Catholic Church returns from the grave. For centuries his bones were hidden under his namesake basilica (Saint Peter’s) , the church was built in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine.
For the first time ever Saint Peter was publicly presented to the faithful by Pope Francis. Saint Malachy prophecy said that the last Pope would be named Peter, and could the first Peter be the last but the same Pope in the prophecy:
“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman), who will feed his flock amid many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”
Could the first Peter feed the faith (spiritually) rather than materially. The dead (relics) or saints have always been viewed more powerful in the Catholic Church than the living. Today, the return of Saint Peter’s bones marks the end of the Year of Faith for Catholics around the world.
There are disputes among the hierarchy within of the church, if these bones are the bones of St Peter but Pope Francis must believe they were important enough to venerate them today.
The bones will inspire millions of Catholics and help to bring a church divided together, or so they hope.
Placed on the altar, the box was opened, revealing the fragments – each measuring about an inch long – laid on an ivory base and held down with wire. Pope Francis first wafted incense towards the bones, then held the box aloft during the mass, although he did not refer to them.