Pope Benedict has declared a Year of St Paul in honour of the 2000th anniversary of the apostle's birth, making the announcement from the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls during Vespers.
The Basilica is the oldest church in Rome and according to tradition was the burial place of St Paul.
In December last year, archaeologists working for the Vatican unearthed a sarcophagus in a crypt near the main altar of the basilica, which they said could contain the remains of the saint.
The original inscription on the top reads: Paulo Apostolo Mart - Latin for 'Paul Apostle Martyr'.
Motu proprio on Latin Mass due
Meanwhile, the motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been presented to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.
German paper Die Welt reports that the bishops had been invited to Rome for that purpose.
At the end of the meeting, in which the motu proprio was introduced together with a letter of explanation by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Benedict met with the bishops.
The document is about three pages long, the accompanying letter about four. From Germany, Cardinal Lehmann had been invited.
The circumstances of the procedure make clear that the Pope was very interested to personally inform the bishops, in collegial manner, of the content rather than from the media.
The publication of both documents will take place on 7 July and emphasises the unity of the Roman Rite which will consist of an ordinary and an extraordinary form which are supposed to inspire each other.
The ordinary/regular form will continue to be the new rite of 1969.
The extraordinary form will be the Missal of Bl John XXIII of 1962.
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