The Feast of the Succession of the Head of the Prophet, Baptist and Baptist of the Lord John is dedicated to the memory of the event described by the Evangelists Matthew ( Matt. 14: 1-12 ) and Mark ( Mark. 6: 14-29 ).
St. John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod Antipa, ruler of Galilee, because he openly convicted Herod that, leaving his legal wife, the daughter of the Arabian king Arefa, he illegally cohabited with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
On his birthday, Herod staged a feast for nobles, elders and captains of thousands. The daughter of Herodias Salomiya danced in front of the guests and pleased Herod. In gratitude to the damsel, he vowed to give everything that she would ask, even until half of her kingdom. A dancer on the advice of her evil mother Herodias asked to give her the head of John the Baptist immediately on a platter.
Herod was saddened. He was afraid of the wrath of God for the murder of a prophet whom he himself had previously obeyed. He was afraid of the people who loved the Holy Baptist. But because of the guests and the careless oath, he commanded the head to be chopped off to St. John and to give Salomius. According to legend, the mouth of the dead head of the preacher of repentance was once again opened and said: "Herod, you should not have the wife of Philip your brother". Salomia took a dish with the head of St. John and carried her mother.
The frantic Herodias sparked the language of the prophet with a needle and buried his holy chapter in an unclean place. But the pious John, the wife of the housekeeper Herodov Husa, buried the holy head of John the Baptist in a clay vessel on Mount of Olives, where Herod had his own plot of land ( the acquisition of an honest chapter is celebrated on March 9 according to the new style ).
The holy body of John the Baptist was taken that very night by his disciples and buried in the Samaritan city of Sevastia, where the crime was committed. After the murder of St. John the Baptist, Herod continued to rule for some more time.
The judgment of God was accomplished over Herod, Herodias and Salomius even during their earthly lives. Salomiya, crossing the Sikoris river in winter, fell under the ice. Ice squeezed her so that she hung her body in the water, and her head was needed by ice. Just as she once danced her feet on the ground, now she, as if dancing, made helpless movements in ice water. So she hung until the sharp ice cut her neck. Her corpse was not found, and Herod and Herodias brought their heads, as the head of St. John the Baptist had once brought them. The Arabian king of Aref, in revenge for the dishonor of his daughter, moved the army against Herod. Having suffered defeat, Herod was angered by the Roman emperor Kai Kaligula ( 37-41 ) and was sent to the prison in Gaul with Herodias, and then to Spain. There they were absorbed by the opened land.
His disciples began to celebrate the day of the martyrdom of John the Baptist.
In 362, by order of Emperor Julian the Apostate, the Gentiles opened the grave of John the Baptist and burned his remains, however, the Christians managed to acquire part of these remains and transport them to Alexandria, where they are stored to this day as the greatest shrine.
In memory of the truncation of the head of St. John the Baptist, the Church established a holiday and a strict post, as an expression of the grief of Christians about the violent death of the great Prophet.
On this day, a commemoration of the departed soldiers is also held.