Remains of St John the Baptist ‘found’
Posted by Xeno on August 4, 2010
He is considered one of the most important figures in Christianity.
Further tests are still to be carried out on the fragments, which were discovered late last month.
The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant reports.
He’s all over the place, it seems… India, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Egypt, Rome…
Istanbul claims to possess the saint’s arm and a piece of his skull in the Topkapi Palace, as does the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Scetes, Egypt, while John’s right hand, with which he baptised Jesus, is said to be in the possession of the Serbian Orthodox Cetinje monastery in Montenegro, and also at the Romanian skete of the Forerunner on Mount Athos. Armenians believe that Gandzasar Monastery‘s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in Nagorno Karabakh, too contains or contained in the past St. John’s head. A discussion about how St. John’s head ended up in medieval Armenia’s province of Artsakh, and in Gandzasar, can be found in the History of the Land of Aghvank, a collection of texts attributed to the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi. The fourth-century Armenian Monasery of Surb Karapet (Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, now in southeastern Turkey) established by Saint Gregory the Illuminator contained the relics of Saint John the Baptist; its fate is unclear after the complete destruction of the church by the Turkish army.
In July 2010 a small sarcophagus was uncovered on St. Ivan Island, Bulgaria. According to local archaeologists, the sarcophagus holds relics of John the Baptist which were donated by Constantinople to the destroyed monastery on the island.
An Armenian Apostolic Church, “St. John’s” at Chinsurah, West Bengal, India, also claims to possess a portion of the hand of St. John. Each year on “Chinsurah Day” in the month of January, the Armenians of Calcutta make a pilgrimage to this Church and during the mass the pilgrims are blessed with this hand. During the year, the relic is kept at the Armenian Church, Calcutta. – wikipedia