Besides the chief feast of St. John the Baptist, that of his nativity, the Church commemorates on the twenty-ninth of August, his glorious death and birth into heaven. Ever since the Fourth Century in Africa, in the East, in Syria, and in many places all over the world, the beheading of St. John has been commemorated on August 29th. When in 362, pagans violated the tomb and burned his remains; some parts were saved by monks, and taken to St. Athanasius at Alexandria. The head is said to have been preserved at Jerusalem, and may later have been brought to Rome.
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