On 26 June 1968, as much of Europe was busy rebelling against authority and fighting for free love, Pope Paul VI made a dramatic announcement that put the Roman Catholic church back in the headlines for reasons other than its stance on women, abortion or contraception.
Bones discovered in a Roman cemetery in the Vatican, he declared, had been identified "in a way we believe to be convincing" as those of Saint Peter, the Christian martyr who is traditionally held to have been the first pope and died 1,950 years ago.
But despite the 1968 announcement, the bones remained hidden. That will change on Sunday, when fragments are to be displayed in public as part of celebrations to mark the end of the Year of Faith, an initiative launched by Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned this year.
The fragments, contained in an urn usually kept in a private papal chapel, will be presented for public veneration in ...