La tête de Saint Jean Baptiste à la cathédrale d'Amiens

The head of Saint John the Baptist at Amiens Cathedral

The cathedral of Amiens in France, contains a preserved skull (facial bone without lower jaw) which would be that of the famous prophet John the Baptist.

Jean-Baptiste was born a little before Jesus. Thirty years later, he was called John the Baptist because he baptized the people in the Jordan. One day, Jesus wanted to be baptized, but John the Baptist refused: he did not consider himself worthy to tie his shoes. Jesus insisted; so John the Baptist baptized him. At that moment, a dove descended from the sky. Jesus left.t.

Later, Jean-Baptiste was arrested. Salomé, an exceptional dancer, danced in front of the king who, charmed, offered her the reward of her choice. The queen whispered in her daughter's ear: The head of John the Baptist. Salome obeys her mother; this is how Jean-Baptiste died beheaded.é.

While this sinisterrelic Thought to have been lost and found many times over centuries of history, the skull found its way to its current home after traveling from the defunct city of Constantinople. During the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), Wallon de Sarton, a crusader from French Picardy, discovered in the ruins of a palace in Constantinople a relic consisting of a transparent crystal half-ball containing the facial section of a human head resting on a silver plate.

Greek letters carved into the plaque claimed that the skull was that of John the Baptist. Wallon de Sarton had to sell the silver platter to pay for his return trip to France, but he kept the lead and, in 1206, he gave the relic to the bishop of the city of Amiens. Realizing the importance of the object, the church immediately began construction of Amiens Cathedral.

Therelic was exhibited in the cathedral of Amiens until the French Revolution, when an inventory was made of all the goods and treasures of the Church and where the relics were confiscated. In 1793, representatives of the Convention demanded that the relic be buried in a cemetery, but the mayor of the city kept it in his house.

A few years later, in 1816, the head of St. John the Baptist was returned to the cathedral and in 1876 a new silver plate was added to the relic, restoring it to its historic glory.

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