John the Baptist - June 24th,August 29th
St John the Baptist (Relics: Rome, Italy; Florence, Italy; Siena, Italy; Amiens, France; Munich, Germany; Damascus, Syria)
First Class Relics
(Note: A number of places throughout the world claim to have the skull of St John the Baptist. The following are four locations.)
San Silvestro in Capite
(Saint Sylvester in Capite)
Piazza San Silvestro
*This church is near the Spanish Steps.
*A relic of the skull of St John the Baptist rests within the chapel to the left of the main entrance.
*The remains of St Sylvester I (d. 335) rest in the confessio below the main altar. Also a work from 1688 depicting the legend of St Sylvester I baptizing Constantine can be seen in the apse vault.
Cathédrale d’Amiens (Cathedral of Amiens)
30 Place Notre Dame
80000 Amiens, France
*Part of the skull of St John Baptist rests within this cathedral.
Residenzmuseum (Residenz Museum)
80333 Munich, Germany
*A relic of the skull of St John Baptist rests within this museum.
Souq Al Hamidya Street
*Relics of St John the Baptist, including his skull, rest within a shrine in this mosque.
Additional First Class Relics
Cathedral of St John the Baptist
*This cathedral, which is in ruins, is located in the ancient Samarian city of Sebastia. A tradition going back to the 4th century places the tomb of St John the Baptist in a crypt below this church. This crypt can still be visited.
Duomo di Firenze
50122 Florence, Italy
*Relics of the following four saints are said to be within the sacristy of this church.
*The skull of St John Chrysostom (Acquired in 1360), the arm of St Andrew the Apostle (Acquired in the 14th century), the arm of St Philip the Apostle (Acquired in 1205), and the finger of St John the Baptist (Acquired in 1419).
*It is said that this is the same finger that St John the Baptist used to point at Jesus when he proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God.”
Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta
(Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed)
Piazza del Duomo 8
53100 Siena, Italy
*In May of 1464 Pope Pius II presented to this church the right arm of St John the Baptist. This relic now rests on the left side of the nave behind the Chapel of St John the Baptist. Each year this relic is presented for public veneration prior to the saint’s feast day on June 24th.
Churches of Honor in Rome
Basilica of St John Lateran
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4
*This basilica is dedicated to both St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist.
*Within the Colonna Chapel to the left of the main sanctuary is a painting completed by Giuseppe Cesari of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist pointing to Christ. Another painting of these two saints is on the left wall of the Lancellotti Chapel. Also within the confessio below the Papal Altar is a statue of St John the Baptist.
*The baptistry next to the basilica also has a chapel dedicated to St John the Baptist.
San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
(Saint John the Baptist of the Florentines)
Via Acciaioli 2
*This church is just east of the Vatican. It is next to the Tiber River and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It is dedicated to St John the Baptist.
*In the sanctuary is a large sculpture of the Baptism of Christ.
*A relic of St Mary Magdalene’s foot rests in a shrine to the left of the main sanctuary.
Santa Maria degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels)
Piazza della Repubblica
*This church is at Piazza della Repubblica. It is a very spacious church built over the Baths of Diocletian.
*A unique marble sculpture of St John the Baptist’s head rests on the left side of the nave.
San Giovanni Decollato (Saint John Beheaded)
Via di San Giovanni Decollato 22
*This church is east of Tiber Island. It is dedicated to the Beheading of St John the Baptist. It is not open often.
Santa Maria della Scala (Our Lady of the Staircase)
Piazza della Scala 23
*This church is located in Trastevere
*The first chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to the Beheading of St John the Baptist.
*The right foot of St Teresa of Avila (d. 1582) rests within a beautiful chapel to the left of the main sanctuary. It was gifted to this church in 1617. (This chapel is not visible from the nave of the church and is rarely open to the public. However, if one kindly asks the sacristan access may be granted. If the sacristan is not present he or she can be called at the neighboring convent door.)
Santissima Trinità dei Monti
(Most Holy Trinity of the Mounts)
Piazza della Trinità dei Monti
*This church is at the top of the Spanish Steps.
*The first chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi
(Saint Anthony of the Portuguese)
Via dei Portoghesi 2
*This church is northeast of Piazza Navona.
*The second chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Our Lady Above Minerva)
Piazza della Minerva 42
*This church is near the Pantheon.
*Within the second chapel on the left side of the nave is a painting of St John the Baptist completed by Francesco Nappi.
*Also the body of St Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) rests under the main altar.