The icon is made on a particle board with the use of the most advanced imprinting and production techniques. The background is decorated in a way that gives the impression of glossy gilding.
Particles of the holy relics of John the Baptist are kept in several monasteries of Mount Athos: Docheiariou Monastery (a particle of his holy head), Stavronikita Monastery (a part of his jaw), Dionysiou Monastery (imperishable right hand), Vatopaidi Monastery (finger), and other particles of relics at St. Panteleimon, Iviron and Pantokratoros monasteries.
The Honorable Forerunner is the last of the prophets and the first of the monks. This is why he is considered the protector of monks and the teacher of monastic life.
He was the son of the priest Zechariah and Elizabeth. Until the age of thirty, he led an ascetic life in the Judean desert, devoting himself entirely to prayer, study, spiritual and moral perfection. John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food consisted of locusts and wild honey. He was a zealous preacher of God's word and especially of repentance: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). In this way John the Baptist prepared the way of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Christ began His public ministry, the people gradually left John and followed the Messiah, at the Baptist's own insistence. The Lord Himself said of him, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11).
Herod, the king of Judea, had him arrested and beheaded at the request of his illegitimate wife.
During the persecution of Julian the Apostate, his holy relics were burned; only his hands and head survived.
The head of Saint John the Baptist was stolen from Constantinople during its fall under the onslaught of the Crusaders in 1204. According to one version, since 1206 it is kept in the city of Amiens in northern France, in its famous cathedral, which was built to store this holy relic and is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Feast Day of the Synaxis of Agios Ioannis the Baptist and Holy Forerunner of Christ is celebrated the day after Epiphany, i.e., January 7.