Catacombs of Rome reveal older image of St. Paul. Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, revealed the discovery.
Vatican archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the oldest surviving image of the Apostle St. Paul. Dating from the fourth century, it was found on the catacomb walls under Rome.
The image was found on June 19, 2009 in the Santa Tecla Catacombs.
Photo: Reproduction / Osservatore Romano - The image of the apostle Saint Paul dates from the 4th century.
The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano, unveiling the discovery on Sunday, June 28, published a photograph of a fresco-painted image of a male face with a black beard and a bright halo on a red background.
Experts from the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology made the discovery on June 19 at the Santa Tecla Catacombs in Rome and described it as "the oldest icon in history dedicated to the Apostle's worship," according to the Vatican newspaper.
St. Paul and St. Peter are revered by Christians as the greatest missionaries of antiquity.
Old-time Christians in Rome buried their dead in catacombs dug in the rocks beneath the city and decorated the underground walls with images of devotion.