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Solemnity of John Baptist
The Birth of St. John the Baptist, Murillo

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

(1st Century)

A family relation of Jesus, St. John the Baptist is called “the Forerunner” because he was sent by God to “prepare the way of the Lord” ahead of Jesus’ public ministry. The birth of St. John the Baptist to his elderly and previously barren parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, is recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel. His birth was announced to his father Zechariah by the Archangel Gabriel, who also brought the news of Christ’s birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. John the Baptist’s nativity is one of only three birthdays celebrated by the Church, along with the nativities of Jesus and Mary. As we read in Luke’s Gospel, at the moment his mother heard the greeting of the Blessed Virgin at the Visitation, John lept in his mother’s womb through the action of the Holy Spirit, reminiscent of King David leaping and dancing before the Ark of the Covenant. So, like Jesus and Mary, his birthday is also worthy of special honor. Because Christ praised John the Baptist so highly by saying “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist,” he was one of the most highly venerated saints in the ancient and medieval Church. He has two feasts: his nativity on June 24th and his passion on August 29th.

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Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

Look today to John the Baptist, an enduring model of fidelity to God and His law. John prepared the way for Christ, by the testimony of his word and his life. Imitate him, with docile and trusting generosity.”

Saint Pope John Paul II
The Infant Christ and Saint John the Baptist with a Shell - Murillo
The Infant Christ and Saint John the Baptist with a Shell (c. 1670), MURILLO, BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN (1617 – 1682), Oil on canvas

He must increase; I must decrease.”

The Gospel of John 3:30
“St. John the Baptist Preaching” by Mattia Preti (1613—1699)

Saint John the Baptist, Precursor of Christ, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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