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After some time, a hieromonk by the name of Eustathius, an Arian, came into possession of it, using it to attract followers to his teaching. According to ancient tradition, the burial place of John the Baptist was at Sebaste, near modern-day Nablus in the West Bank, and mention is made of his relics being honored there around the middle of the fourth century.The historians Rufinus and Theodoretus record that the shrine was desecrated under Julian the Apostate around 362, the bones being partly burned.
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast on August 29, as does the Lutheran Church.Several different locations claim to possess the severed head of John the Baptist.Among the various claimants are: Scenes from the events around the death of John were an extremely common subject in the treatment of John the Baptist in art, initially most often in small predella scenes, and later as a subject for larger independent works.This date in the Julian Calendar, used by the Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, corresponds in the twenty-first century to September 11 in the Gregorian Calendar.The day is always observed with strict fasting, and in some cultures, the pious will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat round food on this day.Other writers say that it was interred in Herod's palace at Jerusalem; there, it was found during the reign of Constantine and thence secretly taken to Emesa, in Phoenicia, where it was concealed, the place remaining unknown for years, until it was manifested by revelation in 453.
Over the centuries, there have been many discrepancies in the various legends and claimed relics throughout the Christian world.A portion of the rescued relics was carried to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria, where, on 27 May 395, they were laid in the basilica that was newly dedicated to John the Baptist on the former site of the temple of Serapis.The tomb at Sebaste continued, nevertheless, to be visited by pious pilgrims, and St.The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals.Some early mythology scholars, such as Sir James Frazer, claimed that the holiday was originally Kupala; a pagan fertility rite later accepted into the Orthodox Christian calendar.Along the way, they encountered an unnamed potter and gave him the bag to carry, not telling him what it was. John the Baptist appeared to Archimandrite Marcellus of this monastery and indicated where his head was hidden in a water jar buried in the earth.