On the website Apanta Orthodoxias, there is an article displaying the picture of a monk’s skull with persistent frontal suture. This article states that this “sign of the cross” is a miracle and testifies to the holiness of this monk. This is similar to the misinformation “miracle” stories taught to pilgrims at Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries—i.e., that persistent frontal suture is a miracle exclusive to orthodoxy and occurs only to priests (or, depending on who is telling the story, only priest-monks or only priest-monks on Mount Athos). As stated in a previous article, Persistent Frontal Suture is found all over the world. Many times the skulls belonged to people who were non-Orthodox and even non-Christian. See: https://scottnevinssuicide.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/persistent-frontal-suture-a-miracle-exclusive-to-orthodox-clergymen/comment-page-1/ Furthermore, many female adult skulls also have Persistent Frontal Suture (thus ruling out the “only Orthodox Priest” theory). It is not an “Orthodox miracle,” nor does it represent “sanctity.” Though uncommon, it does occur throughout the world in both female and male non-orthodox populations. Just because a monk states Persistent Frontal Suture is an orthodox miracle doesn’t validate it as a miracle; it is inaccurate and misleading:
The website states:
“Fr. Ignatios look at the cross that has been created on top of the holy skull of the righteous monk! This cross declares the holiness of the martyr!!!”
In our Exarchate in Cyprus, we left the holy skull of an anonymous saint, from the “Martyrdom of the 44 Holy Sabaite fathers, monk-martyrs of the Great Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified, massacred by the Saracens (Blemmyes) (610 or 614). The blessed Patraiarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus gave the order for the holy skull to remain there forever. He gave the command to Fr. Evdokimos, the spiritual father of the Holy Monastery. While we were already in Cyprus in the Exarchate, we celebrated a holy vigil in memory of the Holy Martyrs on May 16th. It was so peaceful and compunctionate.
Fr. Evdokimos had left with His Beatitude for the Holy Land, and before leaving he told me, “Fr. Ignatios look at the cross that has been created on top of the holy skull of the righteous monk! This cross declares the holiness of the martyr!!!”
According to Geronda Evdokimos’ statement, these skulls of non-Orthodox men and women with Persistent Frontal Suture from India, Thailand and Brazil can be assumed to declare their holiness and sanctity. Based upon Geronda Evdokimos’ teaching, these skulls of non-orthodox men and women are “holy relics.”
As explained in a previous article, frontal suture is a dense connective tissue structure that divides the two halves of the frontal bone of the skull in infants and children. It usually disappears by the age of six, with the two halves of the frontal bone being fused together. It is also called the metopic suture, although this term may also refer specifically to a persistent frontal suture. In some individuals the suture can persist (totally or partly) into adulthood, and in these cases it is referred to as a persistent metopic suture. The suture can either bisect the frontal bone and run from nasion to bregma or persist as a partial metopic suture (see image of frontal bone) (where part of the suture survives and is connected to either bregma or nasion) or as an isolated metopic fissure. Persistent frontal sutures are of no clinical significance, although they can be mistaken for cranial fractures. As persistent frontal sutures are visible in radiographs, they can be useful for the forensic identification of human skeletal remains. Persistent frontal sutures should not be confused with supranasal sutures (a small zig-zag shaped suture located at and/or immediately superior to the glabella).
Persistent Frontal Suture Sources
The incidence of the metopism and difference in shapes varies by races.
- A note on the morphology of the metopic suture in the human skull http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15712147
- A rare case of persistent metopic suture in an elderly individual: Incidental autopsy finding with clinical implications (Karnataka, India) http://www.amhsjournal.org/article.asp?issn=2321-4848;year=2014;volume=2;issue=1;spage=61;epage=63;aulast=Vikram
- Autopsy Study of Metopic Suture Incidence in Human Skulls in Western Rajasthan http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=36125
- Imaging in Skull Fractures http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/343764-overview
- Incidence of metopic suture in adult South Indian skulls http://jbsr.pharmainfo.in/documents/vol2issue4/2010020402.pdf
- Incidence of metopic suture in skulls of Northeastern Thai adults http://www.med.cmu.ac.th/journal/fulltext/CMJ_2013_Vol%201-2_No-2_P%2011-16.pdf
- Median Frontal Sutures – Incidence, Morphology and Their Surgical, Radiological Importance http://www.turkishneurosurgery.org.tr/pdf/pdf_JTN_896.pdf
- Metopic suture http://radiopaedia.org/articles/metopic-suture
- Metopism in Adult Skulls from Southern Brazil http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0717-95022006000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&a.
- Morphological study of Metopic suture in adult South Indian skulls http://www.academia.edu/6480507/Morphological_study_of_Metopic_suture_in_adult_South_Indian_skulls
- Occurrence of Metopism in Dry Crania of Adult Brazilians http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/158341/
- Persistent Metopic Suture in Various Forms in South Indian Adult Skulls – A Study http://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-0513/ijsrp-p1719.pdf
- Single Suture Craniosynostoses http://www.thecraniofacialcenter.org/synostoses_treatment.html
- Skulls http://freakmuseum.blogspot.ca/p/skulls.html
- STUDY OF METOPIC SUTURE IN THE ADULT HUMAN SKULLS OF NORTH INDIA http://medind.nic.in/jae/t10/i2/jaet10i2p232.pdf
- Tale of the Taung Child Collapses https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/hominids/tale-taung-child-collapses/
- A rare metopic Tibetan skull bowl. Kapala This rare example has the metopic suture. The lining is silver with a gold wash, and a beautiful matrix turquoise cabochon is mounted inside. Tibet, 19th century.