St John the Baptist History
This day commemorates the life of John the Baptist, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Many centuries ago, as Christianity spread through France, celebrations for the summer solstice began to merge with Saint John the Baptist's feast day, June 24. This is an annual holiday observed on June 24.
St John the Baptist Facts
- In the first chapter of Luke, the father of St. John , Zachary, is approached by an angel who tells him that he and Elizabeth, even though they were old, would have a child. Zachary didn't believe the angel right away, and was unable to speak until after John was born.
- When Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to Elizabeth to congratulate her on her pregnancy, John leaped with joy in her womb. (Luke 1:44). Mary was pregnant with Jesus at the time.
- Some of John's followers, including Philip, became followers of Jesus.
- John was beheaded by Salome, the daughter of King Herod's wife, Herodias. The saint had publicly criticized the marriage because Herodias was the wife of Herod's half brother.
- St. John has two feast days in the Roman Catholic Church. The first, held June 24, acknowledges his birth. The second, August 29, commemorates his death.
In the Orthodox Church, 'The Nativity of the Venerable and Glorious Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist' is held on June 24.
St John the Baptist Top Events and Things to Do
- In Mark 1:7, John is described as wearing camel's hair and eating only locusts and honey. Enjoy something with honey to honor John the Baptist.
- John the Baptist was a prophet. He is considered the voice that prepared the world for Jesus Christ. Read the Bible about other prophets in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos.
- Travel to Basque Country (area in north-central Spain and south-western France) or look for a Basque community in the United States to celebrate the night before the Feast of John the Baptist with a bonfire. The celebration combines the feast day with the Basque summer solstice.
St John the Baptist References and Related Sitesnewadvent.org: John the Baptist
Alexander J. Burke: John the Baptist: Prophet and Disciple
(St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006)