Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


We are grateful to one of our confreres for the photographs below, which shows the relics of Saint John the Baptist at the former Conventual Church of Saint John of Jerusalem in Valetta, now the Co-Cathedral, displayed for the veneration of the Faithful on the Feast last Tuesday.  The reliquary is in the form of a very realistic severed head upon a dish, but does not, of course, contains a head (See our earlier post on the Feast, illustrating the three supposed relic heads).
Those members of the Grand Priory and British Association who occasionally opine that the liturgical practices of the Order in Britain are elaborate might do well to reflect upon this splendid image, which shows the glorious character of the Order's liturgy though most of its history.  We should be grateful that, despite the ravages of Napoleon, the disappearance of the Knights, and the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy of Saint John's Valetta retains much of the ceremonial and custom of our noble tradition.

Any Maltese member reading this who knows the origin and date of the reliquary would be very welcome to post a comment in the box.

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