John the baptist was an itinerant preacher in the Holy Bible. John is described as having the unique practice of baptism for the forgiveness of sins. He also baptised  Jesus near the river Jordan. He was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary’s aunt. The Gospel of Luke includes an account of John’s infancy, introducing him as the son of Zecharaiah, an old man, and his wife Elizabeth, who was barren.  According to this account, the birth of John was foretold by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah, while Zechariah was performing his functions as a priest in the temple of Jerusalem.

In the gospel of Mark, John the baptist is described as wearing clothes of camel’s hair, living on locusts and wild honey. He has also been described in the words of Isaiah as “voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” He appeared preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He is the one who made people ready for the coming of the Messaiah. He preached saying “ After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. I have baptised you with water; but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John said to him that it was not right for him to have Herodias. Herod wanted to put John to death but he feared the people who held him to be a prophet. When Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod. So he promised her woth an oath to give her whatever she wished. Prompted by her mother herodias, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. The king was helpless because of his oath and ordered that John the baptist be beheaded in the prison and his head was brought on a platter.

The Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. John the Baptist on two feast days:

  • June 24 – Nativity of St. John the Baptist
  • August 29 – Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

St. John the Baptist has been one of the saints for known for his humility and his ministry.

Sharon Vas, Student Representative, ACC

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