February 19, 2017 -
“A DIVINE TREASURE WAS CONCEALED IN THE EARTH”
The Beheading of the St. John the Baptist is known as a dark event in Church History.
Although it sounds grisly, Christians have set aside several days to Commemorate the findings of the head of
this revered Saint. These dates on our Church calendar mark the discovery and rediscovery of the relic
known as the "Kara" or head of the Forerunner. But as Christians, we must put out of our Minds the brutality
of the severed head and instead look upon it as a symbol of Christian spirit.
The Gospels tell us that John was beheaded at the request of the wicked Herodias, wife of Herod. Fearing
that he would somehow "rise from the dead" Herodias ordered that his head not be buried with his body.
Her handmaiden Joanna was a God-fearing woman. Joanna could not bear the fact that the Head of spiritual
giant had not been cared for correctly. She put the head in an earthenware vessel and buried it on the Mount
of Olives. Meanwhile, hearing about Jesue and his great miracles, even Herod had doubts about Christ's
true identity. He declared his fear saying "This is John, whom I beheaded: he has been raised from the dead!" (Mark 6:16)
Over the centuries, that wonder-working head went from person to person, disappearing into the darkness for a
time and then being once more revealed. By God's providence, it was recovered once again by Uranius, Bishop
of Emesa. This occurred around the year 430. He moved this Christian treasure to his church where it became a shrine
for all to visit. It is interesting to note that while alive, John did not work a single miracle (John 10:41). But
in death, his venerable relic was bestowed the power of performing miracles!