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Article posted Oct 14 2006, 11:49 PM Category: Occult Source: Newsweek Print

The Vatican's Pagan Cemetery

By Barbie Nadeau

Funerary statue of an infant with inscription 'Tiberius Natronius Vemustus' from the family tomb of the Natronii family—part of the pagan cemetery uncovered beneath the Vatican

Oct. 13, 2006 - Just inside the Vatican's fortified walls, directly below the street connecting its private pharmacy and its members-only supermarket, lies a 2,000-year-old graveyard littered with bizarre, often disturbing displays of pagan worship. Under one metallic walkway, the headless skeleton of a young boy rests in an open grave. At his side, a marble replica of a hen's egg, which to pagans represented the rebirth of the body through reincarnation. Nearby, countless skeletons lie scattered among the remnants of terra cotta vases used in pagan ceremonies. The underground air is damp with the smell of wet dirt, and the clay tubes used by the pagans to feed their dead with honey and syrup still protrude, fingerlike, from the ground.

Walking among the exposed bones of any ancient graveyard would be chilling enough. But when it's a pagan necropolis directly beneath Vatican City, arguably Christianity's holiest shrine, then the situation redlines right into completely unnerving. Or it would be if it weren't so enthralling, especially for anyone who has ever pondered Roman Catholicism's pagan roots. The Necropoli dell'Autoparco (literally Necropolis of the Parking Garage), a 2,000-year-old burial ground, which opens to the public Oct. 20, offers a rarely seen glimpse of the close ties between pagans and Christians during the Augustan era (23 B.C.-14 A.D.). "You see a mix of social class and even religious beliefs here," says Francesco Buranelli, director of the Vatican Museums, who believes that including the pagan graveyard as part of the Vatican's museums will foster awareness of the roots of Catholicism and the importance of its Roman history. The site "brings together the rich and the poor, the plebes and the nobles," he says. "We have not opened an exhibit as historically significant in recent history."

The necropolis was discovered by accident in 2003 when construction workers broke ground for a new parking garage for Vatican employees. After local residents complained that dump trucks leaving the site were carrying tombstones and other seemingly important archaeological debris, the Vatican admitted uncovering what was believed to be an ancient Roman burial ground. Little further explanation was offered. But in the waning days of John Paul II's papacy, plans were made to open the graveyard to the public. John Paul himself was a student of Rome's pagan roots. But when he was succeeded by the more conservative Pope Benedict XVI, the plan was nearly derailed-until the Vatican's official archeologists insisted that the Holy See carry through the plans to honor the former pope. Indeed, when it opens next week as part of the Vatican Museums' 500th anniversary, the very fact that it exists so publicly is a testament to the Holy See's curious new willingness to promote that which it does not necessarily believe. "Everyone always thinks that if it's not about pure Christianity, the Vatican isn't interested," says Cristina Gennaccari, an archaeologist with the Vatican Museums. "But there are many pagan aspects of all things modern, and when it comes to archeology, especially religious archeology, there is really no room for distinction."

The sepulcher of a woman the Vatican believes was a convert to Christianity

Courtesy Vatican MuseumsFunerary statue of an infant with inscription 'Tiberius Natronius Vemustus' from the family tomb of the Natronii family-part of the pagan cemetery uncovered beneath the VaticanBesides, the Vatican is quick to point out, some of the bones in the necropolis belonged to people who were, as Gennaccari puts it, "on the verge of conversion to Christianity." She points to a carving on the sarcophagus of a young third-century soldier that shows a young woman kneeling next to a tree upon which a bird roosts. These symbols, she says, represent the soldier's potential belief in Christianity: "It brings him into the Christian realm," she asserts. Another carving shows a man praying in a way that early Christians did, she says, which could show that he was also an early convert, or at least had the inclination. Never mind that nearby, the tombs of others are decorated with obviously pagan mosaics elaborately depicting, among other things, a drunken Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, being held aloft by a satyr. Many of the tombs are still equipped with the oil lamps used by mourners for illumination when they read to their dead to keep them occupied until the next life.

The graveyard will be open to the public only on Friday and Saturday mornings, by appointment, for €5 ($6.25). It will also remain an active archaeological dig until the sacred archaeologists feel they have cataloged and uncovered as much as they can, or need to. While Gennaccari admits that there are probably more treasures under the buildings that form the core of Vatican City's infrastructure—mainly under the pharmacy and grocery store—"It'll be hard,” she says with a shrug, “to convince anyone that we have to dislocate some of our modern conveniences to see what else is there." For now, the Necropolis of the Parking Garage is probably as deep as the Vatican wants to dig into its pagan roots.

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Comments 1 - 19 of 19 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jul 11 2007, 9:32 PM

207200 Glad to have discovered your site.
JOANIE Donnellan

Posted: Sep 07 2007, 1:32 PM

205188 Just returned from the Vatican. this & many other sights were breath t aken

Posted: Oct 26 2007, 2:08 PM

24233 The Vatican... "Christianity's holiest shrine"...? Catholocism's maybe, but Christianity's? I think not.
A Roman Catholic wit

Posted: Dec 23 2007, 11:32 AM

7172 St. Peter was martyred on the grounds of the present Vatican. Remember him? That makes the Vatican one of Christianity's holiest places, whether you are a Catholic or not.

Posted: Mar 30 2008, 6:37 PM

199119 this is nothing more than the great whore of revelation

Posted: Apr 18 2008, 3:10 AM

19593 Thanks, this is fascinating. I've often wondered if the obsession with the eradication of 'witches' (pagans) by the church was really all about eradicating something about catholacism and paganism from history?

Posted: Jul 24 2009, 1:15 AM

24118 "St. Peter was martyred on the grounds of the present Vatican. Remember him? That makes the Vatican one of Christianity's holiest places, whether you are a Catholic or not."

Oh really? According to who? According to the Vatican which I saw you both are wrong......its Paganism’s holiest shrine.

Do a little looking into the vatican and you will see she is the great whore of babylon. Sorry to those who are offended but You have been deceived and I hope rather then just getting upset like I once did you will take the time to look into the mystery religion known as Roman Catholicism.

May Jesus be your guide and never forget he loves us all and judges us based upon the light we were given.

Posted: Oct 21 2009, 10:45 AM

15182 Peter the apostle was never in Rome, it was the apostle Paul who was in charge of the gentiles. But there was Simon Magul, the sorcerer and he founded the roman catholicism by mixing paganism into scriptures of what is call Syncretism. So the pagan observances were wrapped in new meanings. It is time we open our eyes to the truth. The vatican is the great whore of Babylon. She is all lies and deceit using the name of Christ for her own glory. I suggest you dig more and study history

Posted: Oct 21 2009, 11:14 AM

15182 I agree with you. Peter the apostle was never martyred in Rome. There were no biblical truths as to Peter being in Rome but rather he was in Jerusalem. It is indeed the body of Peter Magul because only bodies of pagans are buried in Roman pagan cemetery. Ignorance is deceiving humanity. Vatican is nothing but hypocrites. Remember her blasphemies?

Posted: Jan 20 2010, 10:57 PM

9957 Wow this truly gives a new meaning to the phrase, "the foundation for which the church was built". It seems that God revealed this unknown for it to be known to show how this church was built on a lie through paganism. Christ is the only Rock, the only true foundation, and He would have never allowed His true church to be built on such a site. Thats why the true location of the true church now lives in the hearts of each follower of Jesus. And the true Holy Land is Israel. Not Rome the counterfeit.

Posted: Mar 05 2011, 6:01 PM

76176 christian leaders placed many chuches on pagan sites. the site under st.peter's is powerful. i have been there. its power permeates the stone above. true power was amplified, not destroyed. thank you.

Posted: Jul 27 2011, 3:29 PM

19641 Maranatha!!

Posted: Jun 24 2012, 10:31 AM

109249 It has alot more on this in a book coming out end of 2012 - beginning 2013 called 'The Greatest Fraud Ever Told'.
Christian Spook

Posted: Sep 20 2013, 4:36 AM

194150 Peter never went to rome.It is a fallacy.

Posted: Sep 20 2013, 4:52 AM

194150 Have a look at my blog..

Posted: Sep 20 2013, 4:52 AM


Posted: Apr 04 2014, 3:31 PM

17932 And yet Catholics still think this church was built upon the rock. It's built upon pagan death!

Posted: Jun 23 2014, 6:04 AM

9363 Fellow Catholics don't worry yourselves because Christ would not be if his words did not come to be. He said it shall happen and it is happening. Rejoice fellow Catholics that you are not the ones doing it, but someone has to do it, the persecution.

" If the world hate you, know that it has hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also."

Even the apostles received the same treatment until someone talked sense into the authorities of that time. "And now, therefore, I say to you: Refrain from these men and let them alone. For if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him."

They are not done, like pharoah their hearts have been hardened.

Now those who say Catholics must read history must learn to take their own advice, read widely. Eusebius Pamphilius, in The Chronicle, composed about A.D. 303, noted that “It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon.”

Like I said, they are not done. People will always find a reason to say the sky is not blue.

Posted: Feb 08 2015, 1:39 AM

184101 There are good God-fearing Catholics that need to come out of that institution. Rome killed Jesus and they are still out persecuting those that don't follow the dictates of Rome. History repeats itself. There is nothing new here. The pope is the head that has been lifted up. He is THE antichrist working alongside those wearing scarlet and purple. He holds both political and religious power, hence the two keys. Now that the black and white popes are the same person, more chaos and death will continue to ensue.
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