The Nativity of the Honourable Forerunner, St
John the Baptist
celebrated June 24
Behold I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare Your way before
You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight’.
is the only saint's birthday celebrated throughout the church calendar year. St.
John is remembered on three other
days as well, but they all deal with the discovery of his Holy relics.
Zachariah, a Hebrew priest, was struck dumb by the Archangel Gabriel at the
altar when he would not believe the archangel's news that his wife Elizabeth (a
very old woman) would conceive a son. He got his voice back when writing, on
the day of the child's circumcision, that his name would be John. When Herod
sent soldiers to kill the infants in Jerusalem
in search of Jesus, St. John
also was at risk. Elizabeth
hid the baby, and in anger Herod had Zachariah killed near the temple. Elizabeth
hid in a cave with the baby and died when he was forty days old. St.
John remained in the wilderness
where he was raised by angels. The presence of St.
John and his disciples was not
felt until about one year before the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. He
preached repentance in the wilderness and not the cities, and the crowds came
to him. He is known as the Baptist and Forerunner of Christ, because of his
role in preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Troparion in Tone Four
O Prophet and Forerunner of
the presence of Christ, we who fervently honor you cannot worthily praise you. For by your revered and glorious birth the barrenness of your mother and the muteness of your
father were unbound, and the incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the