St John the Baptist's bones 'found in Bulgarian monastery'
The remains of St John the Baptist have been found in an ancient reliquary in a 5th century monastery on Sveti Ivan Island in Bulgaria, archaeologists have claimed.
The remains – small fragments of a skull, bones from a jaw and an arm, and a tooth – were discovered embedded in an altar in the ruins of the ancient monastery, on the island in the Black Sea.
A Greek inscription on the stone casque contains a reference to June 24 – the date on which John the Baptist is believed to have been born.
"We found the relics of St John the Baptist - exactly what the archaeologists had expected," said Bozhidar Dimitrov, Bulgaria's minister without portfolio and a former director of the country's National History Museum, who was present when the stone urn was opened.
"It has been confirmed that these are parts of his skeleton."
Exactly how the relics ended up on the island is a mystery, but Mr Dimitrov said they may have been donated by the Christian Church in Constantinople when Bulgaria was part of the Byzantine Empire.
But other experts cast doubt on the claim, saying carbon dating tests were needed before the bones could be identified as belonging to Christ's baptiser.
Many countries around the Mediterranean claim to have remains of St John, including Turkey, Montenegro, Greece, Italy and Egypt.
Full article from the Daily Telegraph UK - link here;