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Alice Offline OP
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Muslims Experience Miracle at the Tomb of Saint John the Baptist

By Fr. Daniel Gouvalis

In Damascus, Syria stands the magnificent Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, established by Justinian.

Ever since the Arabs conquered the area (7th cent. A.D.), it was converted into a mosque [the Umayyad Mosque, 715 AD]. However there is a place in the colossal church where there is a wonderful, artistic and quite large mausoleum. This is the tomb of the honorable head of the Baptist. [...]*

After the fourth finding of the head of this Saint, the found relic was enshrined in this church by Justinian in a beautiful tomb. When the Muslims converted the church into a mosque they also put their hands against the tomb. But they were horrified, because with the first hit warm blood began to run from it, and it continued to run for several days and nights. It would not stop. The panicked Arabs asked for the prayers of the Christian patriarch. He with all the sacred clergy of Damascus processed around the tomb for three days, and on the third day the blood stopped. A special script with Arabic gold letters on the monument chronicles this shocking incident. Until today the Muslim world respects very much the tomb of the Forerunner, and at the same time fear him. No one dares to approach him.

Source: From The Miracle of Faith, Athens, 1985, p. 144. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

* On this spot stood the largest temple in Roman Syria, which was dedicated to Jupiter. In 391 Emperor Theodosius I (r. 379–395) converted it into a Christian Cathedral. It became associated with Saint John the Baptist when his head was said to be enshrined there. The sixth Umayyad caliph, al-Walid I (r. 705–715), commissioned the construction of a mosque on the site of the Roman Orthodox Cathedral in 706.[Note by Translator]

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Alice this is amazing, and I had not heard it before. May God continue to use this shrine to speak to people. Sometimes miracles are used to break through the ice of the hearts of men and women that would otherwise not listen. To God be the glory!

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Alice Offline OP
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Originally Posted by David-MD
Alice this is amazing, and I had not heard it before. May God continue to use this shrine to speak to people. Sometimes miracles are used to break through the ice of the hearts of men and women that would otherwise not listen. To God be the glory!

Indeed, to God be the glory!

Thank you for posting. It is nice to know that these posts are appreciated.

Be well,
Alice

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That will likely be part of my Sunday homily next week.

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This is the place where Pope John Paul II came to visit during his trip to Damascus in 2001

http://www.boston.com/travel/getaways/asia/articles/2008/11/09/syria_pleased_to_show_itself_and_its_rich_history/?page=full

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I did in fact include this story as planned. After the liturgy a first-time visitor told me that he found it fascinating as it was something he had never heard before.

Thank you, Alice.

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Alice Offline OP
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You are very welcome.

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Wasn't a great deal of this mosque destroyed in the ongoing Syrian civil war?


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