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. Blouise,

    He is a good dog….I have know of his presence in the Texas Democratic Party since the mid 80’s.

    So what did you all do to Taft? The precursor to Wilson which was the succor to Hoover…well not much has really changed has it….


    Gramma can have her Opinion….But then again Austin is like no other place on earth. I get energized while there. I want to do things, be places, you can ride a bike through out the city and have a dedicated lane without fear of traffic running you over. If I recall it is a fairly hefty fine.

    May I interest you in some articles of faith to start you on the way to Saint Hood, dear Buddha? How about a nice relic, as I under stand the history, you should be most pleased to this very fine article in your collection of items to be counted towards the final preparation of the entombment in the unlikely event of your demise. For a mere 450 shekels, it can be yours and only yours to place for showing while you are a live that you are indeed worthy of remembrance.

    Also, we have a 4th Century or there about a can used only once by a St. Christopher…may you be interested in the items at a bargain basement price of say, 1,000 shekels? This is a one of a kind, kind sir, you should not let this item escape your possession…..

    Then these items may be offered as proof of your Holiness….

  2. 1) Whole Saints. Roger Moore and Val Kilmer are both still alive. And mostly in one piece except for the missing personality components of Kilmer.

    2) Sorry, Grandma. Experiences like opinions will vary. I lived in Dallas for six years and have been all over the state. Aside from Austin? Texas sucks.

  3. Swarthmore mom and Texas Gramma,

    It is most refreshing to read posts from residents praising their state. Too often the downside, which can be found in every locale, is emphasized and the good goes unremarked.

    Here, in Ohio, we are finally on the right track, at least in my opinion, and I hope the leadership remains in place for a few more years.

    Since AY mentioned Bill White I have read more about him and quite honestly, I like what I’ve read. I believe if I lived in Texas I would support his candidacy.

  4. Well, folks – as a genuine Texan, I think I can speak to the issues you have raised. The Comptroller does indeed have much power in Texas. Many times he/she is a member of the opposition political party. Texans are notoriously independent and many of us vote for people based on attributes other than political party. We will examine a candidate and vote on the one who best supports the political stance we take, regardless of party. That means a split ticket most of the time.

    Bill White was indeed the Mayor of Houston, and a very good one. He will make the fall politcal campaign interesting. But Rick Perry has been the captain of this ship of State for a long time and it is due in great part to his leadership that our economy here has fared better than the nation as whole. He will be difficult to defeat.

    And Texas is a great place to live. Don’t knock it if you have never lived here. Good people, wonderful opportunities for families and people who love our great country and want only what is right and best for her. God bless America and God bless the great state of Texas!

  5. Blouise I have a Bill White sticker on my car. Ann Richards and Bob Bullock both died of cancer after maintaining long periods of sobriety. The state’s economy is not as bad as many other states so it is tougher for a democrat to win. The last poll I saw was tied but that was awhile ago.

  6. mr.ed,

    I very much believe Jesus was nailed to a cross, however, as I understand it, wood was very expensive and they only reused the upright one. The cross-bar was yours to keep. Kind of like a souvenir…So, in part I agree, in part I firmly disagree.

    Jesus was further from being a miscreant, he and John were direct threats to the line of the House of David. They both could have ascended to power in the Romans were in a willing mood to change power, but hey little trouble and the money was flowing to Rome. So why cut off what you already have coming in?

    The easiest way back then to end someone life was to strap them to a rock with whetted leather around the ankles, wrist and neck and let the sun bake them….

    I agree that nails were indeed expensive and thats why we have the carpenter stories…..

    More than thousands of bogus artifacts were manufactured and or stolen for the (your term) Yurpean tourists to drag home to worship.

    You don’t have a Plastic Jesus on your dashboard…You don’t care if its dark and scary so long as I have my plastic Jesus in my car…..


    And…for the German Lutherans among you, Jesus did not have blue eyes and golden hair like the pictures on your Sunday school wall. He looked like Yassir Arafat.

    No, No, No, never say that, never ever say that, you will burn in hell for saying that…..Jesus may love you but I am his favorite…Never forget that…You have destroyed my belief in my white-Caucasian, Blue-eyed, Golden-Haired Jesus….next you’re gonna tell me that there is NO SANTA, The tooth fairy is a myth and that the Easter Bunny does not deliver eggs….The Stork still delivers Baby’s right? Thats why Hospitals have so many birds around…..right?

  7. Blouise,

    The Comptroller of Public Accounts is the Governors Pimp. Bob Bullock proved that many times over. (I heard this as a rumor he did coke with Ann, nod, nod, wink, wink) So if the Comptroller wants a sign that he is in control, the I imagine the Governor would submit…not sure if Vaseline is needed anymore as they have been around for a while….

    Bill White is mayor of Houston, you don’t say….man I have really been out of it. Since when did you say? I support anyone but Perry. Now my first Choice was and is Kinky, another rebel rousing, free-willed Texas Jewboy….. that has been very generous to animals…even keeping an elephant or two…just for good measures.

    And of course my all time favorite tune….


  8. Like the story of the cross, this one’s undoubtedly BS.
    Miscreants weren’t put on crosses. Making them costs money. Why waste it on rebels and criminals? Nails were not from the hardware store. They were made by hand, and cost money. Rope was good enough to string up the heretics, stretching them out so they couldn’t breathe.
    Thousands of bogus artifacts were manufactured for the Yurpean tourists to drag home to worship. This continues to today, though it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Jesicle stuck to a dashboard, though I did see Mary in a lumberyard.
    And…for the German Lutherans among you, Jesus did not have blue eyes and golden hair like the pictures on your Sunday school wall. He looked like Yassir Arafat.

  9. If you are suggesting that Texas is messed up, then I won’t argue with you.

    Unlike SWmom, whose knowledge of political candidates in almost every state is admirable, I know very little … but I do remember a Bill White from the Katrina disaster and I want to say he was Mayor of Houston(?), that Bill White did a stellar job in helping the victims … that is all I know about him but he impressed me enough then to remember his name 5 years later.

    Are you a supporter?

    Would he display the head of yet another John the Baptist if the comptroller okayed it. That’s a trick question.

  10. But then again that Evelyn Wood School of Speed Reading paid off some……

  11. Blouise,

    I had to get someone to type that, as you know the Helen Keller school for braille and the hearing impaired had to close in the State that was formerly known as a Red state.

    When Bill White takes over…Now why anyone would want to governor I do not know…because in Texas its the comptroller, another statewide elected office actually has more power than the Governor, he has to certify that there is enough money in the state treasury to pay for what has been appropriated. This is before the Governor can sign it into law.

    Texas also holds the distinction that all appropriation bills must begin in the house, seems like I have read that before someplace…..hmmm…maybe its Washington…..If my understanding Texas was supposed to only be part of the union until after the Mexican American War as the US had at the time a non interference policy when it came to other nations, unless they were attacked first…But then again the book that read may have stated that….but they may have been attacked first because Texas was a whole nuther country….and Why is the STATE flag of Texas the only one that can be flown at the same height as the US flag? …..

  12. How much to I have for this Sarcophagus belonging to the one named the baptizer? Do I hear 30 pieces of Silver?

  13. @Frank, I think that would have been unwise, at least during the Crusades… Guaranteed that at least one crusader would have quoted Matthew 21:12-13 at you (Jesus pissed off at those overcharging for sacrificial animals outside the temple), then demanded you surrender your inventory in the name of the Lord rather than profit off the divine. And you would have done so because he has the sword.


    That’s exactly right. But you forgot to mention that the sword wielding al Qaeda prototype, er, I mean Crusader, would have then turned around and sold the stolen (bogus) merchandise at even higher prices..

  14. What manner of barbarism is this? isn’t it a tad ghoulish to remove body parts and put them on display? Funny, what religion permits and denies.

  15. You have to feel bad for the saints. People are passing around their body parts instead of giving them a proper burial.

    @Frank, I think that would have been unwise, at least during the Crusades… Guaranteed that at least one crusader would have quoted Matthew 21:12-13 at you (Jesus pissed off at those overcharging for sacrificial animals outside the temple), then demanded you surrender your inventory in the name of the Lord rather than profit off the divine. And you would have done so because he has the sword.

  16. frankdway,

    may I offer you the price of becoming the first Saint in your family. Your name will be inscribed in the books and you will forever be known to the world as a person deserving of such miracles.

    The crown of thorns and blood of the crucified are extras of course. The Al La Carte items can be found in the book(s) pertaining to the study of the saints aka Hagiography. You can pick and choose any attribute you want, not limited to just Christian Traditions, you can have some Greek and Buddhist thrown in for an extra fee of course.

    The pay off for your family will be that 1) they can claim you as a saint 2) the books will be rewritten so it is reflected in the world which you know 3) your family may start a church of their own of course with a direct payment upstream to the provider of the party of the first part. There rewards (wealth) will depend directly proportional to the effort expended of the party of the 3rd part.

    If you were looking to be a Saint in this life of course the fees would be extra and payable in advance, plus anticipated royalties of the party of the second part or those that are responsible for payment of the party of the second part.

    In the above it was Health that was meant not wealth. Sometime they can occur simultaneously. If there is any part you do not understand please consult an attorney before midnight before the next months full moon before it rises in the western hemisphere.

    Notices of cancellation must be received in writing addressed to the address provided by the party of the first part with in three days of notice of the conception of this agreement. There are no other offers outstanding that predate this writing, if any area of any previous contract conflict the later dated agreement between the party controls.

    Now may I have your signature below and a deposit as a good faith gesture….

  17. Had I been living in the Middle East during the Crusades I think I would have set up a little tent selling “Genuine, authenticated, bits & bobs of various Saints and messiahs. Woulda made millions & retired to a plush villa on Minos.

    If the Church ever decides to assemble all the pieces of the One True Cross ™ I think they will learn that Jesus must have been a giant as the profess to hold about 150,000 board feet of tru-cross bits.

    Maybe my little tent would have gotten lost in a sea of con man’s tents!

  18. Yeah, the bones are sitting right next to the thorn from Jesus’s crown of thorns, the vial of the Virgin Mary’s milk, a nose hair of St. Christopher (oops, I forgot he doesn’t exist any more) and St. Dymphna’s wimpel. Sorry, call me skeptical.

  19. I had heard that the Sarcophagus had been destroyed or was being held in the catacombs at the Vatican or it was dispersed someplace in Armenia as it holds the claim to being the birthplace of modern Christianity.

    It used to be that folks would steal the remains, don’t know why other that the spoil of the invasion…So this is an interesting story..

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