|Saint John the Baptist by Titian|
LiveScience is reporting that Bulgarian archaeologists may have found, at the site of an old church on the island of Sveti Ivan (Saint John) in Bulgaria, some remains of Saint John the Baptist. You can read the full article here. Of course, this would not be the only place that Saint John is believed to be interred. There is a legend that the head of Saint John (or Yahya), a prophet in Islam, is in his tomb at Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
|Shrine of Yahya in Umayyad Mosque|
Saint John plays a special role in Masonry, as we are all doubtlessly aware. One of my favorite articles was this one by Greg Stewart of Freemason Information. My lodge, Faribault Lodge No. 9, will be hosting a Saint John's Day event that we haven't done in awhile, if ever. (I'm still looking through the records which are very old.)
Here are all the details:
It is with great pride that we invite all of you to join us and our families as Faribault Lodge No. 9 revives the old tradition of celebrating Saint John's Day, Sunday June 24th. We will open our lodge at 8:45 am and form in procession to walk the four blocks to Our Merciful Savior Episcopal Cathedral. We will process in with the congregation at 9:30 am and attend services. Your families may also join us as well but only Masons may be in the procession.
The dress for church is dark suit and tie for the members of Faribault Lodge No. 9. For all other Masons, we would appreciate a jacket and tie but a tie and dress shirt is acceptable. After services have completed, you may either cross the street to Central Park or you may process back to the lodge where we will proceed to close the lodge. You can change clothes at the Lodge building before the picnic.
After our procession, we will have our Saint John's Day picnic with our families at Central Park. Central Park is across the street from the Cathedral. Please bring a picnic lunch for your family only as we are unsure how many people will be attending. If you do not feel comfortable attending the service, which is perfectly acceptable, you are still most welcome to join us at the picnic. The picnic will likely start 11:30 am.I just recently joined Faribault Lodge No. 9 and have had a blast. I hope to get more historical papers about Faribault and Corinthian out into the future.
This tradition is indeed very old. We find references, in many historical accounts, of Masons, in full regalia, processing to a house of worship during the feast days of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Visiting different houses of worship continues as a tradition in many Grand Lodges as a way to introduce themselves to local religious organizations.
We are especially lucky to be attending services at Our Merciful Savior. For those unaware, Bishop Henry Whipple, a well-known humanitarian, was the first Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota and his Cathedral was Our Merciful Savior. In fact, it was the first Cathedral in the state of Minnesota and continued to serve as the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota until 1941. It also has the distinction of being the first Episcopal Church in the United States of America to be designed as a cathedral.
Faribault Lodge has had many prominent members including Past Grand Master Frederick E. Jenkins (1922) and General James Shields. General Shields was a charter member of Faribault Lodge No. 9. He, along with Senator Henry Rice, served as the first senatorial delegation from the state of Minnesota. General Shields also has the distinction of being the only United States Senator to have served three states.
Again, all Masons are invited to attend. We will be in full regalia for this procession. If you are a lodge officer or Grand Lodge Officer, please bring your officer's apron and jewels. Also, we may not have enough white aprons; if you are not a member of Faribault Lodge, please bring your lodge's aprons to ensure all Masons are properly attired. We have also created a Facebook Event page which you can find here.
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