The magnificent Sainte-Marie abbey, founded in the XNUMXth century, indeed contains a treasure whose centerpieces are a XNUMXrd century sarcophagus and a XNUMXth century piece of goldsmith's work representing the head of Saint John the Baptist, patron saint who protects the village of Forty.
The reliquary bust is hollow and composed of silver plates hammered with repoussé and chiseled, enhanced with vermeil for the hair and beard. It is the work of the Montpellier sculptor Jacques Morel, who shaped it in 1443.
The Saint is represented with the shoulders covered with sheepskin with tight curls. Seen from the front, St John's face is painful, suffering, almost tortured. Seen from the side, it presents a calm and serene aspect. The face is framed by long, drooping hair and a curly beard.
This treasure is exhibited each year during the feast of Saint John. For this occasion, a mass is given. It is followed by a procession which ends with a large bonfire.
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