Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Saint Who Lost His Head For the Truth

(Sculpture on wood, by Santiago Martinez Delgado, 1942, 
Museo Nacional de Bogota Colombia)

"Since the memory of blessed John the Baptist is not to be passed over cursorily, it is important that we should note who he was, and by whom, and for what cause, and how, and when he was slain. A just man is slain by adulterers, and the guilty passed sentence of death upon the judge. Further, the death of the Prophet was the reward of a dancing girl. Lastly (which all the barbarians even would be likely to shudder at) the order to consummate the cruelty went forth amid feasting and conviviality; and from the banquet to the prison, from the prison to the banquet, the obedient agents of this death-dealing and disgraceful act went to and fro. How great are the crimes contained in this single infamy!"

(From the book of St. Ambrose, Bishop, On Virgins)

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