Massimiliano Floridi, deacon at the Church of Santa Maria of Capella teared up. His church the old Jewish quarter of Rome, Trastevere is one that most tourists don't even mark on their maps to visit. The discovery was beyond words. And maybe that's what makes this such a good mystery.
Recently a workman pried up a marble slab next to the medieval altar only to spy two clay pots. Of course he could tell they were old. So he called in an expert at reading the markings on the sides. Everyone was shocked when the names were Cornelius, Callixtus and Felix--the names of three very early popes. And then there was one more. Peter. Seriously? Like the real St. Peter? Uh-uh.
But are they really the bone fragments of the head-strong Cephas? It's hard to say because after World War II and just up the road under the famed Seat of Peter within St. Peter's Basilica there was found a little casket with the words "Petros eni", or "Peter is here" written upon it. Those remains were examined in the 1960s and experts decided that they belonged to a man in his early sixties who lived in the first century AD. No certainty, just possibility.
Did they get identification wrong? Probably not. It seems that the Popes actually doled out the fragments of the saints. And just before the Crusades there was actually a rivalry for who got to wear the Pope's Mitre. So, it has been taught that Pope Urban actually hid parts of his most precious stash in a church in Trastevere. More specifically, the Church of Santa Maria.
Provable? No. Possible? Absolutely! Isn't it time for a trip to go exploring for ourselves?