View through a glass wall in the direction of the tomb of Peter, which unfortunately cannot be seen from here. It is on the other side of this wall with the niche, and can only be seen in the special Scavi tour of the ancient necropolis.

The niche contains a silver coffer with fabrics (each known as a “pallium”) woven from the wool of lambs blessed on the feast of St. Agnes (Jan 21) and given to patriarchs and metropolitans as a reminder of the Church’s unity.

Behind it is an early 8th-century mosaic of Christ, placed here by Pope Leo III (795-816). In his left hand Christ holds a Bible open at the Gospel of John, which bears the Latin inscription, “I am the way the truth and the life, the one who believes in me shall live.”

Leave a Comment