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The Beheading of John the Baptist – Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist

(1st c.)

St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, and his mission was to preach repentance to Israel in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. When John rebuked King Herod for his unlawful union with Herodias, his brother’s wife, Herod had John imprisoned. On his birthday, Herod celebrated with a great feast as Salome, the daughter of Herodias, danced before his guests. Herod, pleased with Salome’s performance, promised to give her whatever she asked for, even up to half his kingdom. On the advice of her wicked mother, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod regretfully ordered the execution. St. John the Baptist is the last and greatest of the Old Testament prophets, highly venerated by the Church.

The feast of his martyrdom is August 29th.

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He knew well that he would die as he was against the king, but he preferred virtue to safety.”

Saint Ambrose on St. John the Baptist (340-397 A.D.), Father and Doctor of the Church
Beheading of St. John the Baptist by Callisto Piazza da Lodi, Accademia Venice 2016

Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

Gospel of Matthew 5:10
The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1869).

St. John the Baptist, PRECURSOR OF JESUS CHRIST, MARTYR FOR TRUTH, 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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