The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist Prophet of the Most High

Because of his major role in salvation history, John the Baptist’s birth is one of only three celebrated by the Catholic Church. The others are Jesus Christ (December 25) and the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8).

John the Baptist is the hinge that connects the Old Testament to the New Testament. He is the last of the prophets to announce the coming of the Messiah.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were advanced in age and unable to conceive, but the Angel of the Lord announced that they would have a child and name him John.

At the child’s circumcision Zechariah gave him the name that the angel had revealed and declared John’s mission by singing a canticle of praise.

Scripture tells us that Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant with John when Jesus was conceived so his birth is set six months before the birth of Jesus.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24 unless a feast of the Lord falls on the same day.

The one who prepared the way:

Christian Media Center – English

The birth of the one who would go before the Messiah:

Diocese of Chalan Kanoa

Aware of the presence of Jesus:

Catholic Faith Network

“And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Luke 1: 76-80

Preparing the way for the Light of Christ:

Holy Family Southampton Catholic Church

Prepared for something special:

Ascension Presents

It was clear to his believing parents, neighbors and relatives that his birth was a sign from God. They clearly saw that the “hand of the Lord” was upon Him. This was already demonstrated by the announcement of his birth to Father Zacharias, while he provided for the priestly service in the temple of Jerusalem. His mother, Elizabeth, was already advanced in years and she was believed to be barren. Even the name “John” that was given to him was unusual for his environment. The father himself had to order that he be called “John” and not, as everyone else wanted, “Zechariah”. The name John means “God is merciful” in Hebrew. Thus the fact is already expressed in the name that the newborn will one day announce God’s plan of salvation.

Pope John Paul II, Homily, 24 June 1988

A life that disrupts convention:

The National Gallery

John may have been born without Original Sin:

Catholic Answers

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 717

Unique among the saints:


A life totally directed toward Jesus:

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Led to the Church that He established:

Saint Dominic Media

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