The decision to unearth it was made after pilgrims who came to Rome during the Roman Catholic Church's 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint's tomb - buried under layers of plaster and further hidden by an iron grate - could not be visited or touched.

The top of the coffin has small openings - subsequently covered with mortar - because in ancient times Christians would insert offerings or try to touch the remains.

Donald Trump tag-teamed with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda to criticise their respective countries’ domestic media outlets, making Mr Duda the latest world leader to bond with Mr Trump over a dislike of “fake news”.

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It was the second major discovery concerning St Paul announced by the Vatican in as many days.

On Saturday, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano announced the discovery of a fresco inside another tomb depicting St Paul, which Vatican officials said represented the oldest known icon of the apostle.

The pope said archaeologists recently unearthed and opened the white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome, which for some 2,000 years has been believed by the faithful to be the tomb of St Paul.

He said scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.

On Saturday, the Vatican newspaper announced that a round fresco edged in gold featuring the emaciated face of St Paul had been discovered in excavations of the tombs of St Tecla in Rome.

It was believed to have been dated from the end of the fourth century, making it the oldest known icon of St Paul, meaning it was an image designed for prayer, not just art, L'Osservatore Romano said.

' She was left a bit shocked and the following day telephoned and said she was still shocked but thought it was a great idea." Gabbana did not say if the surrogacy was to go ahead but added: "I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother.

I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother." Under Italian law IVF is not open to homosexuals or lesbians and so couples have to go abroad for treatment with Spain being a popular destination.

He then turned to the Polish President to ask if he had this problem, to which Mr Duda responded by smiling and nodding his head.