About Today

The Birth of St. John the Baptist by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

June 24 transferred this year to Thursday, June 23

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Solemnity

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (Jn 1:6-9). [1]

Today the Church celebrates the birth of St. John the Baptist, the last of the line of prophets sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. As the Catechism teaches us, “The coming of God’s son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.” [2]

We recognize St. John the Baptist as surpassing all the other prophets. For through St. John, the Holy Spirit completed his work of making a people ready for God’s Son. Also, St. John abundantly welcomed Christ into the world; he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, foreshadowed Christ’s coming in his preaching, baptized and bore witness to Jesus in the Jordan, and gave his life in holy martyrdom. We celebrate St. John the Baptist’s birth as the threshold opening to the hope and joy present in Christ’s coming. [3][4][5]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “John, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 522.
[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 717.
[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 523.
[5] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. John the Baptist.”

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 03