You will know my mind is focused on the problem of the Tomb of St John at Selcuk in Turkey. Yesterday, a friend told me there was a story about the tomb having been opened and all that was inside blowing away in the wind. I tried googling this story and came up with nothing. Does anyone else know anything?
In the meantime, I found this piece of information repeated on the net in various places but with little detail:
When he [John] died, according to his will, he was buried on Ayasuluk Hill, which was a graveyard or necropolis. A wooden basilica was built over his tomb in the fourth century A.D. In the sixth century, with help from Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora, a larger basilica was built, the remains of which we see today. From 1920 to 1921, the Greek archeologist, Sotiriu, removed a skeleton from the tomb during his excavations. Many Christians consider this an important site.
But if he “removed a skeleton”, to where was it removed?
An extended treatment is found on page 148-150 of John, the Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend By R. Alan Culpepper (Published 1994, Univ of South Carolina Press), but this suggests that the tomb was found empty in the excavations by Sotiriu.
Again the question must be: why so little interest on the part of the Church? The article on St John in the Catholic Encyclopedia doesn’t even mention the place of his death. Curiouser and curiouser…