In 1992 Mons. Antonio Mattiazzo, bishop of Padua, received an unexpected request from the Metropolite of Thebes Hieronymos. The latter visited Padua on a pilgrimage to venerate the remains of St. Luke and he asked that “a significant fragment of the relics” should be donated to his Church, “so as to be deposited in the place where the holy sepulchre (empty) of the Evangelist is currently venerated”. Metropolite Hieronymos augured that such a gesture be understood as an ecumenical sign.
Thus, at the request of the Bishop of Padua and following the consent of the Benedictine monks, a detailed interdisciplinary inquiry was set up. The skull was brought over from Prague for a couple of days, and the marble sepulchre was opened on the 17th September 1998: within a sealed lead case, a human skeleton was discovered that had been quite well preserved.