The Vatican seems to be making a lot of coincidental discoveries surrounding Paul the Apostle in Rome right now. First, bones that DNA tests date to the 1st or 2nd century found in the reputed burial site of St. Paul and now a fresco in the Catacombs of St Thekla.
The fresco, which dates back to the 4th Century AD, was discovered during restoration work at the Catacomb of Saint Thekla but was kept secret for ten days.
During that time experts carefully removed centuries of grime from the fresco with a laser, before the news was officially announced through the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
A photograph of the icon shows the thin face of a bearded man with large eyes, sunken nose and face on a red background surrounded with a yellow circle – the classic image of St Paul.
The image was found in the Catacomb of St Thekla, close to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, which is said to be built on the site where he was buried.
St Thekla was a follower of St Paul who lived in Rome and who was put to death under the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th Century and who was subsequently made a saint but little else is known of her.
Barbara Mazzei, the director of the work at the Catacomb, said: "We had been working in the Catacomb for some time and it is full of frescoes.
"However the pictures are all covered with limestone which was covering up much of the artwork and so to remove it and clean it up we had to use fine lasers.
"The result was exceptional because from underneath all the dirt and grime we saw for the first time in 1600 years the face of Saint Paul in a very good condition.
"It was easy to see that it was Saint Paul because the style matched the iconography that we know existed at around the 4th Century – that is the thin face and the dark beard. - More: Telegraph.co.uk
Learn more about it: