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A YouTube video, Lucifer's Temple Chambers Beneath the Vatican (What's There Revealed) claims that there is a depiction representing Lucifer, the Light-Bringer, in the Vatican Necropolis, under Saint Peter's Basilica.

Screenshot of the tapestry

Does this depiction exist? Is it Lucifer that is portrayed?

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  • I haven't watched through to see if they mention the details, but when it zooms out, it's clear that the image is on some kind of virtual tour - I initially thought it was printed, but it has what look like buttons to "go back" and "proceed". It doesn't look to me like the maker of the video is claiming to have researched this themselves, they've looked through an official Vatican publication, and built a narrative around some of the details in it.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 8:45
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    Is there something I could have done better? Just noticing general disapproval judging by votes cast. Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 9:00
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    I didn't downvote, but people may feel that the question has too much about your personal beliefs, and not enough substance about the claim you actually want addressed. I'm not sure where the idea came from that this is a tapestry, or idenfied by amateur researchers; it seems to be a painted wall labelled in an official tour guide. The source clearly identifies it as in the Vatican Necropolis, which a cursory search reveals to be pre-Christian, so the whole thing seems unremarkable, outside of whatever conspiracy theory the video is peddling.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 10:01
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    @JeromeViveiros: Just a heads-up that the question is now clearer. Whether you want to change (or already have changed) your vote is entirely your business.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 6:13
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    Alright, will try to learn from all this next time around. Guess I felt compelled to "show research effort" but maybe I was just laboring the point and sharing my subjective views more than need be. Definitely a bit challenging to show research effort and be concise. Thanks for the edits and input Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 7:50

1 Answer 1

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That's a wall in the mausoleum

Cultural Travel Guide's article First century Roman mausoleums under Saint Peter’s Basilica, citing the Vatican virtual tour (a mausoleum itself — Flash Player is dead and buried as of 2021), describes Tomb U as follows:

A reduced tomb, you can only see a small detail of a painted “light-bearer”.

wall of Tomb U showing a guy on a horse on a red background

I believe that there is some sort of inscription labeling it, though the details are scant.

A better image can be found in Die Nekropolen im Vatikan:

hd

What is a "light-bearer"?

This is where the confusion sets in. Obviously, they did not use the English phrase "light bearer" but rather something else. The only option that makes sense in context would be the Latin equivalent of that phrase: Lucifer. While we use the word "Lucifer" today to refer to the devil, that's not how it was used historically.

Catholic Answers says this:

What does the word lucifer mean?

It’s a Latin word derived from the roots lux (light) and ferre (to carry).

It means “light bearer” or “light bringer,” and it was not originally used in connection with the devil.

Instead, it could be used multiple ways. For example, anybody carrying a torch at night was a lucifer (light bringer).

[...]

So there was no connection with the devil?

No. In fact, it was used as an ordinary name. In the 300s, St. Lucifer of Cagliari was a defender of the deity of Christ and of St. Athanasius against the Arians.

Another bishop in the 300s—Lucifer of Siena—also bore this name.

The article Vatican Excavations and the Tomb of Peter says that the figure depicted is, in fact, bringing the light:

[...] U is similarly adorned, showing a peacock strutting between two trees and a small figure, Lucifer, his head surmounted by a star, and with a torch.

See also

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  • In support of the more generic use of the Latin word "lucifer," one of the earliest product names for friction matches was "lucifers." Manufacturer Samuel Jones, who chose the name, undoubtedly saw the humor in the irony of his lucifers bringing both light and the warmth of hellfire into people's homes. I wouldn't be surprised if he laughed all the way to the bank.
    – JBH
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 7:36
  • And glass bricks are called "luxfer" here. in Czech Republic.
    – Edheldil
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 8:17
  • I think it'd be a nice gesture if they added a mural of the Flash Player logo down there too. Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 14:45
  • @JBH: they're still called "lucifers" in Dutch (I don't know about any other languages, there may be more).
    – Reznik
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 8:04

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