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

The head of Saint John the Baptist at Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral in France contains a preserved skull (facial bones without lower jaw) believed to 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 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; then, John the Baptist baptized him. At that moment, a dove descended from the sky. Jesus left.

head of saint jean baptiste

Memento mori representing the severed head of Saint John the Baptist on Relics.es

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." Salomé obeys her mother; this is how John the Baptist died, decapitated.


While this sinister relic is believed to have been lost and found several times throughout 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 half-ball of transparent crystal containing the facial section of 'a human head placed on a silver plate.

Greek letters carved into the plaque claimed 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 his head and in 1206 he gave the relic to the bishop of the town of Amiens. Realizing the importance of the object, the church immediately began construction of Amiens Cathedral.

The relic was exhibited in the cathedral of Amiens until the French Revolution, when an inventory was made of all the property and treasures of the Church and the relics were confiscated. In 1793, representatives of the Convention demanded that the relic be buried in a cemetery, but the town mayor 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 plaque was added to the relic, restoring it to its historic glory.

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1 comment

Quelle chance pour l Amiene d avoir la tete du Saint Jean le Baptiste du Notre Seigneur!!!!

Alexandros Taktikos

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