St. John the Baptist: Who he is and how we are celebrating

St. John the Baptist: Who he is and how we are celebrating

We try to read the Sunday Gospel before Mass on Sunday with the kids. Without fail, the three year old quips, “St. John the Baptist?” when we read from the Gospel of John. He probably isn’t  the only one with this mix up!

So here is how we can get this straight: 

St. John the Baptist is Jesus’ cousin and his mother is Elizabeth who Mary visited. St. John’s father is Zechariah. Mary visited Elizabeth while pregnant and the infant in Elizabeth’s womb, John the Baptist, jumped in knowing that Jesus was in the womb of Mary. 

Upon his adulthood, St. John the Baptist went to the wilderness, fasting and praying. He went before the Lord, proclaiming the good news of Christ. He also baptized Christ on the Jordan river. The voice of God spoke, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Later in his life, John the Baptist attracted the attention of King Herod, condemning his marriage to his brother’s wife. The daughter of Herod asked for John’s head in revenge. He died sometime between 33 and 36 AD. 

St. John the Baptist called people to penance and baptism because the “Kingdom of Heaven” was close at hand. He is also mentioned in the Old Testament, as the messenger, preparing the way of the Lord. 

We celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24th.  It is worth noting, we celebrate St. John’s feast day the farthest from Christ’s birth in December, as “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30. 

Here are a few fun ways to celebrate:

  1. Have a traditional St. John’s bonfire!
  2. Try eating a bug or two. Feeling less than brave of creepy crawlies, eat a treat made with honey, instead. 
  3. Feeling less adventurous but still wanting to celebrate? Grab our DIY Saint Squishy and make an indoor sewing project or our free coloring page printable
  4. Feeling really outdoorsy? Try a family camping trip to spend some time in the wilderness. Pray the Joyful mysteries Rosary on the way. Follow along with the Little Rose Shop here! 

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