Friday, June 27, 2008

A burning question laid to rest

No doubt you’ve often asked yourself. Yes, we know that Herod had John the Baptist’s head separated from his body to placate the terpsichorean Salomé. But what happened to that head – so often pictured on a silver platter – after the spoiled Salomé tired of it?

Today you will learn the answer.

It was Saint Joanne the Myrrhbearer, better known as one of the ladies who discovered the empty tomb on Easter morning. She was resident in Herod’s palace, and she took up John the Baptist’s head and gave it a proper burial in the Mount of Olives.

That was about 2000 years ago. Since then, the head has had a busy history. Being found, identified, disproved, found elsewhere, claimed as a relic, encased in gold and silver reliquaries all over Christendom. You get the idea. So it is nice to think that once upon a time it rested peacefully in the ground.

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