The Birth of St John the Baptist

Birth of St John the Baptist  MURILLO

Here is the Angelus address our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, gave on this day in 2007:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, 24 June, the liturgy invites us to celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist, whose life was totally directed to Christ, as was that of Mary, Christ’s Mother.

John the Baptist was the forerunner, the “voice” sent to proclaim the Incarnate Word. Thus, commemorating his birth actually means celebrating Christ, the fulfilment of the promises of all the prophets, among whom the greatest was the Baptist, called to “prepare the way” for the Messiah (cf. Mt 11: 9-10).

All the Gospels introduce the narrative of Jesus’ public life with the account of his baptism by John in the River Jordan. St Luke frames the Baptist’s entrance on the scene in a solemn historical setting.

My book Jesus of Nazareth also begins with the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, an event which had enormous echoes in his day. People flocked from Jerusalem and every part of Judea to listen to John the Baptist and have themselves baptized in the river by him, confessing their sins (cf. Mk 1: 5).
The baptizing prophet became so famous that many asked themselves whether he was the Messiah. The Evangelist, however, specifically denied this: “I am not the Christ” (Jn 1: 20).

Nevertheless, he was the first “witness” of Jesus, having received instructions from Heaven: “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (Jn 1: 33).
This happened precisely when Jesus, after receiving baptism, emerged from the water: John saw the Spirit descending upon him in the form of a dove. It was then that he “knew” the full reality of Jesus of Nazareth and began to make him “known to Israel” (Jn 1: 31), pointing him out as the Son of God and Redeemer of man: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1: 29).

As an authentic prophet, John bore witness to the truth without compromise. He denounced transgressions of God’s commandments, even when it was the powerful who were responsible for them. Thus, when he accused Herod and Herodias of adultery, he paid with his life, sealing with martyrdom his service to Christ who is Truth in person.

Let us invoke his intercession, together with that of Mary Most Holy, so that also in our day the Church will remain ever faithful to Christ and courageously witness to his truth and his love for all.


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2 Responses to The Birth of St John the Baptist

  1. Toad says:

    Slightly off topic here (although it is the Pope’s address)

    There is something very wrong with this story.
    Popes, like any responsible executive, don’t stand people up with no explanation.
    If they are invited somewhere and don’t want to go, they get their office to send a message of regret, or whatever.
    If Francis agreed to go, and then decided not to – and simply didn’t, that is extremely bad of him. But I don’r believe that for a second.
    We shall see. Maybe.


  2. Roger says:

    St John The Baptist is one of the most mysterious Saints.We call him Saint he was of course a Prophet and he died before the Birth of the Church (Crucifixion). St John was related to Jesus through Our Lady and St Elizabeth.
    It was at the Transfiguration that we have this extrodinary connection between Elias and St John The Baptist.
    Matthew 17
    [10] And his disciples asked him, saying: Why then do the scribes say that Elias must come first?
    [11] But he answering, said to them: Elias indeed shall come, and restore all things.
    [12] But I say to you, that Elias is already come, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they had a mind. So also the Son of man shall suffer from them.
    [13] Then the disciples understood, that he had spoken to them of John the Baptist.

    Now the disciples had known St John and recognised Elias (who never died!) so what did Our Lord mean saying Elias is already come (in the immediate past?)

    4 Kings (2 Kings) 2
    [15] And the sons of the prophets at Jericho, who were over against him, seeing it said: The spirit of Elias hath rested upon Eliseus. And coming to meet him, they worshipped him, falling to the ground,
    Ecclesiasticus 48
    [13] Elias was indeed covered with the whirlwind, and his spirit was filled up in Eliseus: in his days he feared not the prince, and no man was more powerful than he.
    Malachias (Malachi) 4
    [5] Behold I will send you Elias the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

    Eliseus was filled up with Elias spirit? In the same way was St John. What does this mean? Well Carmel claims its foundation was Elias and Our Lady Of Mt Carmel is hugely significant in these times! As St Pio was a Franciscan he had the spirit of St Francis. So St John had the the spirit in the same sense as Elias.

    Now Fatima the last vision seen 13th October 1917 was Our Lady of Mount Carmel! Carmel is the spirit of Elias in Our Days.

    I agree with Toad by the way an explaination is necessary. The point is the Pope is dead long live the Pope. Sacred Tradition is one of the pillars of the Faith the other is the Bible. This means that changing the Traditional behaviour of A Pope ( any Pope) against the 2000 years tradition of behavour smells of novelty. This Conclave may have made a huge mistake. Purification a Renaissance Yes But always within the Traditions of the Papacy. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ who is the Son Of God and King of Kings.


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