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Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist


The Last Prophet’s Last Offering

John the Baptist was born about six months earlier than his cousin, Jesus Christ. We keep in mind the Virgin Mary, who had simply conceived the Word of God, hurrying to satisfy her cousin Elizabeth, who was within the sixth month of her miraculous being pregnant. Elizabeth was thought-about far too outdated to conceive a baby, however she waited with religion and hope, and the love of the Lord, Who was trustworthy as He at all times is. She and Zachariah, her husband, made a promise to God that they might identify their baby John.

The delivery of John the Baptist is commemorated on June 24, and his martyrdom on August 29. John had been despatched by the Lord to organize the way in which for the Messiah. He is the final prophet earlier than the Birth of Christ. He was actively “making ready the way in which of the Lord” by baptizing and boldly proclaiming the necessity for folks to repent of their sins. His message was directed to the poor and weak, and the wealthy and highly effective. He wearing camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey, but folks have been drawn to his message of repentance and forgiveness, and flocked to him to be baptized. Christ Himself got here to John to be baptized, to mark the start of His public ministry. Humble, John tried to refuse however did baptize Jesus, and we see right here the primary “Theophany” — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all current as distinct Persons.

According to St. Mark’s Gospel (6:14-29), John had publicly criticized King Herod for residing together with his brother’s spouse. (This was not Herod the Great, who had tried to kill the toddler Jesus, however relatively one among his sons.) Herod had John arrested and imprisoned, although he had no particular concept of what to do subsequent. St. Mark tells us that “Herod feared John, figuring out him to be a holy and upright man…. When he heard him communicate he was very a lot disturbed, but he felt the attraction of his phrases” (Mk 6:20).

Herodias, Herod’s sister-in-law, had no such respect for John. Embarrassed by his talking out in opposition to her residing association with Herod, she was decided to have him killed. Her daughter (historically generally known as Salome) carried out a dance at Herod’s birthday feast which delighted the king and his company a lot that he publicly promised to grant her something she needed, as much as half his kingdom. Prompted by her mom, the lady requested for John’s head. Because of his company, Herod reluctantly agreed, and dispatched the executioner, who beheaded John.  When his disciples heard of this, they got here and took away the Baptist’s physique, after which knowledgeable Jesus. Speaking of John, Jesus mentioned, “Among these born of ladies there was none larger than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11).

From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day

“His persecutors had demanded not that he ought to deny Christ, however solely that he ought to preserve silent concerning the reality. But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the reality was not a heavy burden for such males as John; relatively it was simply borne and even fascinating, for he knew everlasting pleasure could be his reward.”

— from a homily of St. Bede the Venerable

What am I keen to endure for the sake of the reality — about abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell analysis, same-sex unions? How can I finest proclaim the reality about these given my state of life and my private circumstances?

Other Saints We Remember Today

St. Sabina (127), Martyr

St. Medericus (or Merry) (700), Abbot

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