The Heracles Plaques of St. Peter’s Cathedral

On November 26, 1968, the veil was lifted from a great treasure of the Early Middle Ages with the removal of the chair, made of wood and ivory and venerated as St. Peter’s cathedra, from Bernini’s monumental throne which stands before the apse wall of Saint Peter’s. Here the ivory chair had been enshrined since 1666, until its removal on the authorization of Pope Paul VI made it accessible to scholarship. In 1968, however, the cathedra was transferred to a side room of the sacristy of Saint Peter’s where it is still available for study.

It is well known to scholars, that the Hercules’ labors were allegories, like the 100 Homeric (epics) allegories the Christians incorporated into their beliefs. For this, read the book of Dennis MacDonald “Christianizing Homer: The Odyssey, Plato, and the Acts of Andrew”. It is however very strange to observe the twelve labors of Hercules engraved on the St. Peter’s cathedra, something that doesn’t belong to the Christian religion. Or does it in a way, as all Christians symbols, dogmas, allegories and rites are copied from pagan cults? But the twelve Hercules’ labors are not the only strange figures to be seen on St Peter’s Cathedra.

As Godfrey Higgin states in his work “Anacalypsis” p 691-692, “When the wicked French got possession of Rome, they did not fail to examine this celebrated relic and lo! in addition to the labours of Hercules, they discovered engraved upon it, in Arabic letters, the Mohamedan confession of faith. In these two facts there is a beautiful exemplification of the doctrine held by me and Ammonius Saccas, that all the varieties of religions are at the bottom the same—but including, in the collection known to Ammonius, the modern Mohamedan religion, which will be accounted for presently. I can scarcely conceive a more marked proof of the nature of the secret doctrine of the Conclave. The story goes, that this chair was brought from Constantinople by a Pilgrim, who, of course, could neither see the Zodiac, nor read, nor know, when he saw Arabic letters, that they were the letters of the country where he had been travelling. And it is also clear that the Pope and all the Cardinals who adopted this chair were equally blind, and could not see the Zodiacal signs, and equally ignorant of the Arabic letters. Besides, it is also manifest, if they did see them, that there was not at the time a carpenter in the Roman dominions by whom these offensive emblems might have been removed from the chair, or who might have simplified the matter by substituting a new one, if one must be had, and if the emblems proved the falsity of the story of its being St. Peter’s”.

What the twelve Hercules’ labors and the pagan symbols have to do with the Vatican and the Catholic Church? Do Christians worship pagan symbols and why?



Catholic Encyclopedia – Chair of Peter

Godfrey Higgins “Anacalypsis”

The Heracles Plaques of St. Peter’s Cathedra’s_Cathedra



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