A Double-Header

Today is the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Or, as it says in the new translation of the Roman Missal, the Passion of St. John the Baptist. His head is kept here in Rome. There are other places that claim to have his head also, but we all know that the real head of John the Baptist is the one in Rome. Pope Benedict even mentioned it last year.

While I didn’t have the time to go over to the Church of San Silvestro in Capite today – which is actually fairly close to where I live – I present to you here a photo that I took last November of the relic of the Baptist’s head that is kept there. It’s a bit hard to make out because of the glare, but if you look closely at the glass of the reliquary you can see the skull staring out at you.

“Give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter!” – Matthew 14:8

Here is the famous painting by Caravaggio on the subject. Although there are many Caravaggios here in Rome, this one actually is to be found in the National Gallery in London. I visited there a few months ago, but I don’t remember if I saw it or not. I must be losing my head!

Compliments of Wikimedia Commons

In addition to celebrating the feast of the Baptist’s Beheading, I also finally managed to get into the Church of St. Augustine (see here and here for the background).

Here is a beautiful image of Our Lady of Childbirth that is right near the entrance to the Church. I don’t recall noticing it in the past.

You can see the pink and blue ribbons (not to mention some photos and other paraphernalia) left as ex-votos by parents who succeeded in conceiving and bearing children through Our Lady’s intercession.

And here is a new shot of St. Monica’s tomb, where I prayed for you all as promised.

St. Monica, pray for us.

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