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Earthquake reveals catacomb

· Fourth century subterranean tombs in San Lorenzo di Beffi, Abruzzo ·

In the small village of San Lorenzo di Beffi, Acciano, 30 kilometres from L’Aquila, the small local church of San Lorenzo was seriously damaged by the earthquake on 6 April 2009.  While safety measure were being put into place, an ancient Christian catacomb was found.

In a letter to the President of Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Francesco Di Giandomenico presented the finding of this new catacomb, adding another to the list of three in Abruzzo: San Vittorino at Amiterno, Santa Giusta di Bazzano and Castelvecchio Subequo.

The new small subterranean cemetary consists of a tunnel (30 metres by less than 2 metres) which branches off into two secondary tunnels at a right angle. The small catacomb, dating back to the fourth century, reveals the presence of a Christian community in that area, following religious peace.

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