Friday, February 24, 2012

February, 24th. The First and Second Findings of the Venerable Head of S. John the Baptist.

The Reading from The Synaxarion;

The first finding came to pass during the middle years of the fourth century, through a revelation of the holy Forerunner to two monks, who came to Jerusalem to worship our Saviour's Tomb. One of them took the venerable head in a clay jar to Emesa in Syria. After his death it went from the hands of one person to another, until it came into the possession of a certain priest-monk named Eustathius, an Arian. Because he ascribed to his own false belief the miracles wrought through the relic of the holy Baptist, he was driven from the cave in which he dwelt, and by dispensation forsook the holy head, which was again made known through a revelation of Saint John, and was found in a water jar, about the year 430, in the days of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, when Uranius was Bishop of Emesa.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
The Forerunner's sacred head, having
dawned forth from the earth, doth send
incorruption's rays unto the faithful, whereby
they find healings of their ills. From on high
he gathereth the choirs of the Angels and on
earth he summoneth the whole race of
mankind, that they with one voice might
send up glory to Christ our God.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Since we have obtained thy head as a most
sacred rose from out of the earth, O
Forerunner of grace divine, we receive sure
healing in every hour, O Prophet of God the
Lord; for again, now as formerly, thou
preachest repentance unto all the world.