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A Texas oilman. A brilliant female archaeologist. An unknown world underneath the Vatican.
In 1939, a team of workers beneath the Vatican unearthed an early Christian grave. This surprising discovery launched a secret quest that would last decades a quest to discover the long-lost burial place of the Apostle Peter.
From earliest times, Christian tradition held that Peter a lowly fisherman from Galilee, whom Christ made leader of his Church was executed in Rome by Emperor Nero and buried on Vatican Hill. But his tomb had been lost to history. Now, funded anonymously by a wealthy American, a small army of workers embarked on the dig of a lifetime.
The incredible, sometimes shocking, story of the 75-year search and its key players has never been fully told until now. The quest would pit one of the 20th century’s most talented archaeologists a woman against top Vatican insiders. The Fisherman’s Tomb is a story of the triumph of faith and genius against all odds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John O’Neill is a lawyer and #1 New York Times bestselling author. He has spent much of his life visiting and researching early Christian sites. He is a 1967 graduate of the Naval Academy, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and senior partner at a large international law firm.
From the Publisher
In 1939, workmen found an early Christian grave beneath the Vatican
A behind-the-scenes look at a tale 70 years in the making
The improbable hero and Texas oil man George Strake pictured with Pope Paul VI.
Margherita Guarducci, the unlikely heroine and brilliant archaeologist, showing the niche in the wall where St. Peter’s bones were originally found.
Tombs of the Valeri, found beneath St. Peter’s Basilica during the excavations.
A secret quest with an improbable hero
The hero of The Fisherman’s Tomb is a wealthy Texas oil man who bankrolled the expedition at the secret request of Pope Pius XII.
Praise for The Fisherman’s Tomb
What a cool book!
“The Fisherman’s Tomb tells the story of the discovery of the tomb and bones of St. Peter under St. Peter’s Basilica, combining risky excavations, oil discoveries and cataclysmic explosions in Texas, the intrigues and adventures of World War II, petty jealousy among Vatican apparatchiks, scholarly diligence and carelessness, amazing heroism — plus, above all, confirmation of the truth that Jesus made Peter the rock upon which he built his Church. What a cool book!”
— Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Founder and president of Ignatius Productions, EWTN host, biblical scholar, author, and speaker
Gripping archeological detective story
“The Fisherman’s Tomb is a gripping archaeological detective story stretching back two thousand years, a true tale of religious veneration, papal risk-taking, and scholarly feuds. It’s all told in fascinating and well-documented detail by John O’Neill, who reveals a behind-the-scenes American connection to the excavations that brought Saint Peter’s bones to light.”
— John Thavis, Author of The Vatican Diaries and The Vatican Prophecies
Drama and adventure and Providence
“This is one of Christianity’s many great stories of faith, hope, and trust. It’s drama and adventure and Providence, and John O’Neill here gives it the kind of loving treatment it deserves, one clearly born of his own dramatic encounter with faith, hope, and trust. Inspired by the witness illuminated in The Fisherman’s Tomb, may every reader grow in these virtues, through Saint Peter’s intercession.”
— Kathryn Jean Lopez, Senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review, coauthor of How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice