Happy Birthday, Saint John the Baptist!

We celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24th.

Here are 7 things to know and share about the life of Saint John the Baptist in honor of this special celebration:

Who is John the Baptist father?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

1. Saint John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ before He began His public ministry. From the womb, God set him apart as a primary figure in His plan for salvation!

2. He baptized Jesus Christ.

“Looking at the events (of Christ’s baptism) in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realized what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan” - Pope Benedict XVI

3. His mother is Saint Elizabeth, a relative of the Virgin Mary and wife of Saint Zechariah. Saint John the Baptist's mother believed she would never have children before the Lord answered her prayers for a son.

The birth of John the Baptist
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

4. We do not know the exact date of Saint John the Baptist’s birth, but the Church celebrates his Nativity on June 24th. The Church bases this celebration on the Annunciation (March 25th). Scripture says Saint John’s mother was in her sixth month of pregnancy when the angel appeared to Mary. (Luke 1:26-27)

5. The Gospel of Saint Luke references the birth of Saint John the Baptist in Luke 1:57-60. His is one of three birthdays celebrated on the Church’s liturgical calendar. The other two are Jesus' birth and the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

What John the Baptist did
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

6. He leaped in his mother’s womb at the Visitation. The first person to recognize the child Jesus was an unborn Saint John the Baptist!

7. He lived as a hermit in the desert before undertaking his ministry, which ended with his martyrdom at Herod’s orders.

Here is a special prayer for the intercession of Saint John the Baptist:

O God, who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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