Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – The Beheading of St John the Baptist – 29 August

Saint of the Day – The Beheading of St John the Baptist – 29 August (beheaded c 30 at Machaerus)  His was buried at Sebaste, Samaria, though the grave was vandalised.   The remaining relics in Saint Sylvester’s church, Rome, Italy, and at Amiens, France.  The Patronages of St John the Baptist are – against convulsions or spasms, epileptics and against epilepsy, against hail and hailstorms, baptism, bird dealers, converts, convulsive children, cutters, farriers, French Canadians, innkeepers, lambs, monastic life, motorways, printers, tailors, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Knights Hospitaller, Knights of  Malta, 13 dioceses, 69 cities.  Attributes –  cross in hand, lamb, severed head on a platter, skin of an animal, slender cross, tall, thin cross.

St_johns_head
The head of St John the Baptist, enshrined in its own Roman side chapel in the San Silvestro in Capite, Rome.

In addition to the feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24), the Church, since the fourth century, commemorates the martyrdom of Christ’s precursor.   According to the Roman Martyrology, this day marks “the second finding of his most venerable head.” The body of the saint was buried in Samaria.   In the year 362 pagans desecrated the grave and burned his remains.   Only a small portion of his relics were able to be saved by monks and sent to St Athanasius at Alexandria.   The head of the saint is venerated at various places.   That in the Church of St Sylvester in Rome belongs to a martyr priest John.   Also in the Dominican church at Breslau the Baptist’s head is honoured.

“There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was and gave his life for him.   His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ but only that he should keep silent about the truth.   Nevertheless, he died for Christ.   Does Christ not say:  “I am the truth”?  Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.

Through his birth, preaching and baptising, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.

john-the-baptist-bearing-witness-by-caracci

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment.   He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men.   He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.

To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John;  rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.

Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.   Hence the apostle Paul rightly says:  “You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.”  He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him:  “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”  (Saint Bede the Venerable)

 

 

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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