THE CHAPEL OF RELICS
The chain that, according to the most ancient tradition, attached the Apostle Paul to the Roman soldier assigned to guard him while in prison in Rome, is the most precious among the relics and objects on display in this chapel. Already in the 5th century, Pope Leo the Great made mention of it.
THE ART GALLERY
The existing Art Gallery, located in the Sacristy and in two annexed rooms, preserves some precious paintings from the old Basilica. About forty of them date back to between the 13th to 19th century, such as The Virgin Mary with the Infant Christ by Antoniazzo Romano (15th century) and the copy of rare documents, including a Carolingian Bible manuscript from the 8th century, which is preserved in the library of the Abbey, together with some engravings preserved from the fire of 1823.
THE LAPIDARY COLLECTION
In the cloister, one can presently find sarcophaguses and about 2000 fragments of tomb stones. Some of these contain inscriptions engraved in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, all taken from the necropolis discovered during the various works carried out near the Basilica. The most beautiful sarcophagus, called the “dogmatic”, is currently preserved at the Pio-Christian Museum in the Vatican. The Praeceptum, a huge marble stone with an epigraph from Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) refers to a female monastic community which existed in the Basilica at that time.