Headed in different directions

On this feast day of St. John the Baptist, this is a quick post to direct you over to this History.com article, “Where is the Head of Saint John the Baptist?

In it, Sarah Pruitt tells us:

According to different traditions, no fewer than four locations lay claim to the murdered saint’s head. In Damascus, Syria, the Umayyad Mosque was built in the eighth century A.D. on the site of a Christian church named for John the Baptist; his head is said to be buried in a shrine there. A skull identified as the head of John the Baptist is on display at the Church of San Silvestro in Capite in Rome, built to house artifacts from the Roman catacombs. The 13th-century cathedral in Amiens, France was built specifically to house the head of John the Baptist, which a Crusader supposedly brought back from Constantinople in 1206. And in Munich, Germany, the Residenz Museum includes John’s skull among a number of relics collected by Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria with the Pope’s permission in the mid-16th century.

Such stories show how martyrdom can multiply a saint’s legacy and that, far from destroying a person – even if the relics disappear – their presence can extend throughout the world.

An AirBnB next to Thomas Aquinas’ Grave

Upon returning to Poland and telling my professors that I had spent the holidays in Paris and Athens, my professor of metaphysics said to me, “Those trips sound okay, but if you want to do something really worthwhile, then you should visit Toulouse because that is where Thomas Aquinas is buried.”

Not more than a month later, I booked an AirBnB 238 metres from the Church of the Jacobins and went to see Aquinas’ tomb.

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