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January 18, 2009

the head of John the Baptist is sitting in the church of San Silvestro in Capite in Rome, whereas an earlier tradition puts it in Amiens cathedral. But the head in Rome is missing a lower jaw which is kept in the San Lorenzo cathedral in Viterbo. The plate on which his head was carried is in Genoa, in the treasury of the San Lorenzo cathedral, together with the saint’s ashes, although some of these ashes are also in the ancient Benedictine church in Loano. One of his teeth is in the cathedral in Ragusa and another, together with a strand of hair is in Monza. What happened to the other 30 no one knows.

Umberto Eco
L’Espresso 09.01.2009

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2009 1:23 am

    My favorite “John the Baptist” and “relic” reference is unfortunately from a source I no longer remember, but it’s something about a church having a skull of John the Baptist at the age of 12.

  2. January 19, 2009 10:46 am

    That’s pretty good Mikhail. while looking into it i came across two good articles on the peddling of relics. One is a review of a book devoted to the topic of relics: and the other one is about selling them on eBay:

    By way of a personal note i probably should mention that i’m not Catholic or even Christian for that matter, but like Cioran i am rather fascinated by saints.

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