John the Bulgarian?

Ok, he wasn’t Bulgarian, but John the Baptist’s remains may be. Archaeologists in Bulgaria has reported that they have found remains of John the Baptist in a reliquary in a 5th century monastery on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan. The container holds a skull, hand, and a tooth — not quite half a saint but a pretty good percentage in the relic world.

A Greek inscription on the reliquary refers to June 24, the date when Christians celebrate John the Baptist’s birth and the island has a later built monastery from the 11th century dedicated to John the Baptist. “Sveti Ivan” means “St. John” in Bulgarian and other Slavic languages.

The Bulgarians, however, are just breaking into the John the Baptist body part market. The presumed head has been displayed in Rome.

The ancient records leave various clues and claimed possessors. It was reportedly buried with the rest of him at Sebaste in Samaria. Some relics were reportedly taken to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria in 395,

Nicephorus and Symeon Metaphrastes claimed that that the head was buried in the fortress of Machaerus. Other said it was held at Herod’s palace at Jerusalem before being taken to Emesa in Phoenicia. The Coptic Christian Orthodox Church also claimed to hold the relics of St. John the Baptist. Even the town of Halifax in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom claimed to have possessed it.

Other claimants were the the Knights Templar, San Silvestro in Capite in Rome, and Amiens Cathedral in France, among others.

It appears “getting a head” in life is an expression with ancient roots.

Source: Religion Blogs.

44 thoughts on “John the Bulgarian?”

  1. The scrolls look more authentic if you carefully peel off the oval, gold “Made In China” sticker that knocked off the oval, gold “Made In Japan” sticker.

  2. The coolest artifacts are of the Dead Sea Scroll variety. Everything else is debatable and usually silly and embarrassing.

Comments are closed.