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Even the Muslims have greatly revered for centuries

John the Baptist

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The importance of St. John the Baptist is underscored by no least than five memorials in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox calendars:

- On June 24th, the Birth of John the Baptist

- On February 24th, the Discovery of the Head of St. John the Baptizer

- On August 29th, the Memorial of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

- On September 23rd, the Memorial of the Conception of St. John the Baptist (Orthodox Calendar)

- On January 7th, the Synaxis (Feast) of St. John the Baptizer (Orthodox Calendar)


St. John, the forerunner of our Lord, was beheaded by King Herod at the instigation of his wife Herodias. Joanna, wife of Chuze, Herod's steward (Luke 8:3) recovered John's head and buried it with honor.

The relic was passed through private hands until it came to rest, by divine providence, in the care of Bishop Ouranios of Cappadocia (what is now central Turkey).

In the ninth century it was translated to Constantinople (what is now Istanbul, Turkey). The finding and veneration of this precious relic is a testimony to the importance of St. John, who is revered by Christians and Muslims as father of ascetics and foremost of the witnesses to Christ.


The the relics were kept amongst the richest treasures of the Muslim Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. (1)

Following we have transcribed what appears on the plaques next to the Relic's Case found at the Treasury of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul - Turkey.

"The skull of St. John the Baptist was originally in the possession of the Byzantine and fell into Ottoman hands after the conquest. This relic was presented by Mehmed II (1451-81) to Mara Despena, daughter of the Serbean King.

Subsequently it became the property of Cezayioli Hasan Pasa and after his death brought to the palace around 1790."


"The (right) arm of St. John the Baptist and its case belonged to the Byzantine prior to the conquest. In 1484, Bayezed II (1481-1512) sent it as a gift to the knights of Rhodes. It was later discovered in Lefkose Castle in Cyprus and brought back to Istanbul in 1585"


The Muslims have greatly revered John the Baptist for centuries. Why? His greatest "contribution" was to announce and to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ. Think about that... (2)


(1) The images of the relics of St. John the Baptist, kept amongst the richest treasures of the Muslim Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.

(2) Dispelling Some Gross Misconceptions About Islam

Originally Published in 2003
Added "Background" Section on August 29th, 2020

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