The relics of St. John the Baptist in Amiens (France)
How many Orthodox Christians come to France – and only a few know how many shrines still, despite the tumult of revolutions and the forgotten Christian heritage of the past, contains a French land. Because it, like our Holy Rus, Lord, “by nature gracious and unemotional”, still loves and wishes to all living and visiting there “to be saved, and in the knowledge of the truth Preeti”.
Holy Legend tells us that after the beheading of the precious head of St. John the Baptist the wicked Herodias was not allowed to betray her funeral together with the body of the Saint, but having outraged upon her, buried in his Palace in the “disgraceful place”. The body was taken secretly and buried by the disciples of Saint. Wife of officer of king Herod we knew where Herodias had buried the venerable head. And she decided to rebury her on mount of olives in one of Herod’s estates.
When before the king’s Palace heard the rumors about Jesus ‘ sermons and committed them miracles, Herod and his wife Herodias went to check on the spot whether the head of John the Baptist. Not finding it, they began to think that Jesus Christ is the resurrected John the Baptist. This was their delusion is evidenced by the gospel (Matt. 14:2).
Many years later, during the reign of Tsar Konstantin, his mother St. Helen resumed the Jerusalem Shrine. To the Holy Land began to flock to the pilgrims, which came to worship the precious Cross and the Holy sepulchre, two monks from the East. Them and entrusted to St. John the Baptist to find your fair head. We only know that it was revealed to them in dreams and that after the finding of the head in the place they decided to go back. However, the will of God was different. On the way they met a poor Potter in the Syrian cities of Emesa, forced because of poverty to go in search of work in neighboring country. The monks, finding a companion, either through carelessness or laziness entrusted him to carry the bag to the Shrine. And he carried himself still appeared to him St. John the Baptist commanded not to leave the careless monks and running away with entrusted to him by the Providence of the bag.
Lord, for the head of John the Baptist, blessed the Potter’s house with all kinds of contentment. Potter all his life, remembering what and Who owes, not proud and liberally distributed alms, and shortly before his death gave a fair head of her sister, with the command passed to the next God-fearing and virtuous Christians.
However, by God’s fair head, for a long time turning from one man to another, fell into the hands of hieromonk Evstafy, infected with the heresy of Arius. Came to him sick people received healing from him, not knowing that the reason was not supposed godliness of the latter, and hid them originating from the head of grace. Soon socastee it was revealed, he was expelled from Emesa. And around the cave where the monk lived and where was buried the head of John the Baptist, a monastery was formed.
After a lot of time by the grace of God was the second findings of the precious head. About it we know it by description as the Archimandrite of the monastery amestoy Marcellus, and from the life of St. Matrona (her memory on November 9), written by St. By Symeon The Metaphrast. According to the legend the first, the venerable head appeared to him on 18 February 452. A week later Bishop AMESim Uranium was revealed to her worship, and on February 26 of that year it was transferred to the newly established Church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. All of these events was accompanied by healing the sick, and a wonderful rebuke to the unbelief of some clerics.
After some time, the venerable head of St. John was moved to Constantinople, where he was until the reign of the Iconoclast heresy. Pious Christians, leaving Constantinople, had secretly carried with him the head of John the Baptist and hid it in Comana (near Sukhumi), the city in which once reposed SVT. John Chrysostom. After the approval of Orthodoxy at the Council of Constantinople in 842 years, the venerable head was returned to the Byzantine capital for about 850 years. The Church celebrates this event on may 25 the third finding of the head of St. John the Baptist.
14 April 1204 during the fourth crusade, the crusaders captured the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The city suffered devastation and looting.
According to Western tradition, the Canon Vallon de as Sarton (Wallon de Sarton) from Pikini (Picquigny) found in the ruins of one Palace case, in which was a silver dish. It under a glass cover were hidden the remains of a human face, not only had lower jaw. Over my left eyebrow was visible a small hole probably pierced with a dagger.
On a platter, the Canon found the inscription in Greek, proved that he is the possessor of the relics of St. John the Baptist. In addition, the presence of the hole above the eyebrow went along with the event, mentioned by St. Jerome. According to his testimony Herodias in a fit of anger stabbed with a dagger on the severed head of St. John.
Vallon de as Sarton decided to bring the head of St. John the Baptist in Picardy, Northern France.
On December 17, 1206, on the third Sunday of advent the Bishop of Amiens Gebarowski Richard (Richard de Gerberoy) solemnly welcomed the head of St John the Baptist at the entrance to Amiens. Probably the Bishop was convinced of the authenticity of the relics that it was easier to check then, as they say, “without delay”. Since that time the reverence for the head of St John at Amiens and entire Picardy.
In 1220 the Bishop of Amiens laid the first stone in the Foundation of a new Cathedral, which, after the many interventions of the future will be the most magnificent structure of the Gothic style in Europe.
In 1604 Pope Clement VIII, wishing to enrich the Baptist Church in Rome (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano), asked the canons of Amiens, the relics of St. John.
In this Cathedral was moved to its main Shrine: the front part of the precious head of St. John.
Amiens became a place of pilgrimage not only ordinary Christians, but also of the French kings, princes and princesses. First the veneration of the precious head of came in 1264 Saint Louis, king of France. Then came his son, Charles VI and Charles VII, who made large offerings for the decoration of the relics.