The Seal of the Prophets
Source: Fr Lawrence Farley's blog - No Other Foundation
The importance of John the Baptizer may be gauged by the amount of paint and ink the Church spends on him. His portrait is painted and is found on every single icon-screen in all the churches, regardless of whether or not he is that church’s patron saint. And many hymns have been written to celebrate his life. Much ink is required for these hymns - he has many feasts. Fifty-seven feasts each year in fact: the feasts of his conception on September 23 (October 6 on the old calendar), his birth on June 24 (July 7 on the old calendar), his beheading on August 29 (September 11 on the o.c.), the synaxis celebrating his role as the Lord’s baptizer on January 7 (January 20 on the o.c.), the feasts of his relics on February 24 (March 9 on the o.c.) and May 25 (June 7 on the o.c.), and every Tuesday of the 52 weeks of the year, which celebrate him in the weekly liturgical cycle. That is a lot of feasts, requiring a lot of hymns.
On June 7, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Third Finding of the Head of St John the Baptist. What does it mean? At the very least it means that we lost it three times. Below is the article that explores more deeply the events surrounding the head of the one greater than anyone born of a woman (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28).