Patronal feast in honor of the Third Finding of the Honorable Head of St. John the Baptist
On July 7, the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrated the feast at the Trinity Cathedral’s upper right side chapel consecrated in honor of the Third Finding of the Honorable Head of St. John the Baptist.
The third finding of the honest head of John the Baptist took place around 850 AD. During a time of unrest at Constantinople connected with the exile of Saint John Chrysostom, the head of St. John was taken to the city of Emesia. It was then transferred to Komana during the Saracen raids (about 820-820) and hidden in the ground during a period of iconoclastic persecution. When the veneration of icons was restored, Patriarch Ignatius (847-857) saw in a vision at night the place where the head of Saint John the Forerunner was hidden.
The patriarch communicated this to the emperor, who sent a delegation to Komana. There the head was found a third time around the year 850 AD. Afterwards, the head was again transferred to Constantinople, and here, on May 25, it was placed in a church at the court. Part of the head is on Mt. Athos.
According to the Diveyevo tradition, on the eve of the feast day, the Holy Trinity Cathedral held a Vigil service followed by Divine Liturgy and a water blessing prayer service on the feast day.