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Saint of the Day for 24 June: Nativity of St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist: Life, Mission and Legacy of the Forerunner of Jesus

Name

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Title

Prophet and martyr

Birth

1st century B.C., Ein Kerem, reign of Herod

Death

29 ca. A.D. C., Macheronte, Perea

Recurrence

24 June

Martyrology

2004 edition

 

Prayer

O admirable Forerunner of the longed-for Messiah, who, sanctified before His birth, preserved unto death the original righteousness, and living amid fasting and mortifications in the wilderness, taught by Your example the sure way to health, for that humility with which You refused to pour the mystical baptismal water on the head of the Divine Redeemer, for that zeal with which you pointed Him out to all the Jews as the true Lamb of God, for that intrepidity with which you reproached the most dreaded monarchs for their crimes, and for that heroic resignation with which you poured out under the executioner’s axe your blood in witness to the truth you preached: obtain for us all the grace to zeal always in your imitation the sanctification of our souls, the edification of our neighbors and the glorification of God, that we may be your companions in Heaven to serve God for ever. Amen.

Patron of

Civitella Roveto, Castelvecchio Subequo, Lucoli, Pescosansonesco, Opi, Cansano, Collepietro, Monteferrante, Chiaromonte, San Giovanni in Fiore, Rosarno, Villa San Giovanni, Borgia, San Lucido, Nocera Terinese, Gizzeria, Soveria Mannelli, Cortale, San Mauro Marchesato, Spilinga, Bivongi, Pallagorio, Acquaformosa, Figline Vegliaturo, San Basile, Melicuccà, Lappano, Belsito, Domanico, Plataci, Cenadi, San Giovanni di Gerace, Napoli, Angri, Casavatore, Roccapiemonte, Vietri sul Mare, Roccarainola, Apice, Bracigliano, Sassano, Faicchio, Castel San Lorenzo, Bucciano, Pannarano, Quadrelle, Roccagloriosa, Carife, Castelfranco in Miscano, Cesena, San Giovanni in Persiceto, Fiorano Modenese, Bondeno, Soliera, Castenaso, Castel San Giovanni, Spilamberto, Cavriago, San Giovanni in Marignano, Minerbio, Riolo Terme, Castelvetro Piacentino, Bardi, Ferriere, Montecreto, Latisana, San Giovanni al Natisone, Remanzacco, Cassacco, Prepotto, Barcis, Formia, Ceccano, Pontecorvo, Castelforte, Lenola, San Giovanni Incarico, Spigno Saturnia, Poggio Bustone, Pescosolido, Magliano Romano, Torricella in Sabina, Torri in Sabina, Casperia, Acquafondata, Genova, Loano, Finale Ligure, Vado Ligure, Sant’Olcese, Carcare, Mignanego, Ospedaletti, Stella, Cicagna, Leivi, Varese Ligure, Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Deiva Marina, Pieve di Teco, Cervo, Soldano, Costarainera, Rovegno, Prelà, Nasino, Monza, Busto Arsizio, Sesto San Giovanni, Cesano Boscone, Melegnano, Lonato del Garda, Stezzano, Induno Olona, Clusone, Motta Visconti, Mozzo, Roncoferraro, Adro, Marcaria, Moglia, Almè, Binago, Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, Palazzago, Bagnatica, Cisliano, Lograto, Cernusco Lombardone, Germignaga, Casnigo, Romanengo, Guardamiglio, Borno, Caravate, Tremosine sul Garda, Fabriano, Pollenza, Mogliano, Appignano, Ostra Vetere, Acquasanta Terme, Petritoli, Cantiano, Rapagnano, Visso, Vallefoglia, Sassocorvaro Auditore, Spinete, Torino, Orbassano, Avigliana, Ovada, Barge, Candiolo, Romentino, Quarona, Moretta, Diano d’Alba, Bosconero, Briga Novarese, Cerrione, Rivara, Pianfei, Castagnito, Ceresole Alba, Vespolate, Bistagno, Salassa, Morano sul Po, Ozzano Monferrato, Verrua Savoia, Casalgrasso, Campiglione Fenile, Comignago, Bolzano Novarese, Sauze d’Oulx, Cesana Torinese, Cantarana, San Giovanni Rotondo, Sava, Veglie, Maruggio, Celenza Valfortore, Castelluccio Valmaggiore, Motta Montecorvino, Siniscola, Pula, Fonni, Sedilo, Nurachi, Olzai, Mara, Magomadas, Senis, Asuni, Bidonì, Buggerru, Villamar, Masainas, Budoni, Castiadas, Ilbono, Armungia, San Giovanni Suergiu, Arzana, Lunamatrona, Marsala, Vittoria, Castelvetrano, Pozzallo, Campobello di Licata, San Giovanni Gemini, Monterosso Almo, Falcone, Sperlinga, Firenze, Signa, San Giovanni Valdarno, Vicchio, Chianciano Terme, Firenzuola, Villafranca in Lunigiana, Scansano, Campagnatico, Pieve Fosciana, Caprese Michelangelo, Mezzolombardo, Valle Aurina, Lasa, Dobbiaco, Tirolo, Avelengo, San Giovanni di Fassa, Marsciano, Arrone, Giove, Vallo di Nera, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Jesolo, San Giovanni Lupatoto, Thiene, Caldogno, Oppeano, Istrana, Vazzola, San Fior, Meolo, Ospedaletto Euganeo, Cavaion Veronese, Pedavena, Lugo di Vicenza, Meduna di Livenza, Costa di Rovigo, Cison di Valmarino, Santo Stefano di Cadore, Brenzone sul Garda, Rivoli Veronese, Bonavigo, Erbè, Pincara, Canale d’Agordo, Vighizzolo d’Este, Velo Veronese

Protector

Of innkeepers, of departed souls, of singers, wool carders, tanners of hides, condemned to death, makers of knives, swords and scissors, of monks, furriers, tailors

Roman Martyrology

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, forerunner of the Lord: already in his mother’s womb, filled with the Holy Spirit, he exulted with joy at the coming of human salvation; his very birth was prophecy of Christ the Lord; in him so much grace shone forth, that the Lord himself said concerning him that none of those born of women was greater than John the Baptist.

 

The Saint and Mission

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Saint John the Baptist, known as the precursor of Jesus, dedicated his life to a mission of preparation and call to conversion. Born to Zechariah and Elizabeth in miraculous circumstances, John heard God’s call from a young age and retreated into the desert to live a life of austerity and prayer. His simple clothing and his diet of locusts and wild honey reflected his total dedication to a life of penance. John’s mission was clear and powerful: prepare the way of the Lord. He preached fervently on the banks of the Jordan River, urging the people to repent of their sins and receive baptism as a sign of purification and spiritual rebirth. His call to conversion attracted immense crowds, creating a movement of spiritual renewal that shook the foundations of the society of the time. John the Baptist had a unique role in the history of salvation, being the bridge between the Old and New Testaments. When he baptized Jesus, he recognized him as the Lamb of God, destined to take away the sins of the world. His humility and clarity of vision led him to declare that he must decrease so that Jesus could grow, showing a deep understanding of his role and total submission to the divine will. St. John the Baptist remains a model of faith, courage and integrity. His mission teaches us the importance of spiritual preparation, penance, and boldly bearing witness to the truth, regardless of the consequences. His life is a constant reminder to live with authenticity and to prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint John the Baptist, with his life and ministry, is a powerful example of divine mercy. Although his message was often harsh, centered on the need for repentance and conversion, his preaching was rooted in a deep love for people and a desire to prepare them to encounter Christ. John called for conversion not to condemn, but to offer a way of salvation and reconciliation with God. By baptizing people in the Jordan River, John offered a tangible sign of God’s mercy. Baptism was an act of purification, a new beginning for those who recognized their sins and wanted to change their lives. Through this ritual, John demonstrated that divine mercy was accessible to all, regardless of their past. His relationship with Jesus is another aspect of his mercy. John recognized and proclaimed the superiority of Christ, showing great humility and profound respect for the mission of salvation that Jesus would accomplish. His declaration, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” is a powerful testimony to Jesus’ role as the embodiment of divine mercy. Even in his imprisonment and martyrdom, John remained faithful to his mission, demonstrating that mercy often requires courage and sacrifice. His life and martyrdom teach us that mercy is not just a feeling, but an active commitment to living the truth and guiding others towards redemption. Saint John the Baptist inspires us to practice mercy with sincerity and courage, calling ourselves and others to a life of conversion and reconciliation with God. His testimony reminds us that true mercy is rooted in love and the desire to see the others transformed by divine grace.

Hagiography

The cult and high honor paid by the Church to the great Baptist by celebrating his nativity is certainly a sign of the greatness of this man sanctified even before his birth. Zechariah, his father, was of the class of Abijah, and as a priest he attended to the offices of the temple. Elizabeth, his wife, was sterile and …

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