Orthodox Calendar 2018
Previous day
Святой Иоанн Креститель
Next day
Old Style
February 24
New Style
March 9
3rd Week of Great Lent. Tone 6.
Great Lent.
Monastic rule: xerophagy (bread, uncooked fruits and vegetables).

First (4th c.) and Second (452) Findings of the Precious Head of Совершается служба с полиелеемSt. John the Baptist.

St. Erasmus of the Kiev Caves (ca. 1160). Uncovering of the relics of (1486) St. Romanus, prince of Uglich (1285).

Martyrs Montanus, Lucias, Julian, Victoricus, Flavian, and their companions, at Carthage (259). St. Cummain Ailbe, abbot, of Iona (669).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse


The wicked shall fall by his own wickedness (Prov. 11: 5).[1]   Impiety is an incorrect relationship to God, or complete forgetfulness of God, to which belong also unbelief in the existence of God and in His providence for creatures. Some souls, being oppressed by wicked thoughts like these, but desiring nevertheless to be respectable individuals, resolve, “I will be upright, honest, and humane, not occupying myself with whether there is something higher than me which observes me, has expectations of me, and is able to demand an account.” And what is the result? The blessing of God—which they do not seek—does not abide with them, and their affairs do not prosper. Their conscience daily reminds them about their deeds either of unrighteousness, dishonesty or inhumanity. They only make a show of righteousness before other people in order to justify themselves, sharply fending off accusation, and falsely interpreting facts as needed. He whose conscious is inwardly blameless has no need of self-justification. Those who are not attentive to themselves allow this inner discord to slip by: those who are attentive control this with difficulty. Oh, when will one of such people conscientiously look at this discord, and discern where it comes from and how to set it right? He could then both set himself right and direct others toward the proper harmony.

[1] The Slavonic for Prov. 11:5 reads: The impious shall fall by his own impiety.


First and second finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist of the Lord, John

During the days of Saint Constantine the Great (May 21), when Christianity began to flourish, the holy Forerunner appeared twice to two monks journeying to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places, and he revealed the location of his venerable head.

The Nativity of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ

Six months before his appearing to the most holy Virgin Mary in Nazareth, the great Gabriel, archangel of the Lord, appeared to Zacharias the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. Before he revealed the miraculous conception by a virgin who had not known a man, the archangel revealed the wondrous conceiving by an old and barren woman.

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

St. John of Shanghai

Being born exactly half a year before Christ, John the Forerunner by the exact time of his birth depicted his mission of preparing the way for the Lord. He was born at the time of the year (June 24) when the day begins to grow shorter after the summer solstice, whereas the Nativity of Christ occurs (December 25) when the day begins to grow longer after the winter solstice. These facts are an embodiment of the words spoken later, by the Forerunner, after the beginning of Christ's preaching: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).

Homily on the Feast of the Beheading of St John, the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord

St. Justin Popovic

What is this? Could it be that this world has become a madhouse? People do not want God, they do not want the greatest Righteous One in the whole world. Whom do you want? Whom would you prefer? Whom would you set in Christ’s stead? With whom would you replace St. John the Baptist? With yourselves?! О moth! О, tiny mortal insects! Yes, when people become maddened by pride, when out of egotistical pride they lose their reason, they have no need of God, they have no need of God’s Truth. They declare themselves to be gods. They present their petty, shallow, false likeness of truth as the great and salvific Truth.

The Untold Story of the Head of St. John the Baptist

Priest Maxim Massalitin

Unfortunately, few of the faithful have recourse to the help of such a lamp of grace as the precious head of St. John the Baptist, “the first among martyrs in grace”.[2] Many Orthodox Christians come to France, but not all of them know how many holy relics there are still on French soil despite the outrages committed against them during the French Revolution and subsequent forgetfulness of France’s Christian past.

Nativity of St John the Forerunner

God has given us the greatest of prophets, to show us how we should prepare ourselves to greet the Lord. Like John, we are to continue to remind ourselves of the prophetic words which awakens our barren soul from the slumber of sin. Like John, we are called to direct our lives toward repentance by which we are drawn into the embrace of the Giver of Life.

The Beheading of the Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Our Lord Himself said that St. John was the greatest prophet “among those born of women” (Luke 7, 28). Some hearing these words are surprised. They ask: Surely, Christ Himself is the greatest man born of women? However, Christ was not born of a woman (i.e. a married female), he was born of a Virgin. Therefore, in obedience to our Lords words, that St. John is the greatest born of women, the Church duly honors him.

The Life of St. John the Baptist

St. Sebastian Dabovich

This John was called by God to be the forerunner of his Divine Son, to usher Him into the world, and to prepare mankind by repentance to receive the Redeemer, whom the prophets had foretold at a distance through every age from the beginning of the world, never ceasing to instill in the people of God faith and hope in Him by whom alone they were to be saved.

Homily on the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

St. Justin Popovic

Today is a little Great Friday, a second Great Friday. For today the greatest man among those born of women, John, the Holy Forerunner and Baptiser of the Lord, is murdered.

Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John

Holy Fathers in Praise of St. John the Baptist

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment; behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

The Beheading of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

The Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner of the Lord, John the Baptist: The Evangelists Matthew (Mt.14:1-12) and Mark (Mark 6:14-29) provide accounts about the martyric end of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Christ.

Commentary of St. John Chrysostom on the Beheading of the Precious Forerunner

St. John Chrysostom

But not without a purpose doth the evangelist signify the time, but to make thee observe also the haughtiness of the tyrant, and his thoughtlessness, in that not at the beginning did he inform himself about Christ, but after a very long time. For such are they that are in places of power, and are encompassed with much pomp, they learn these things late, because they do not make much account of them.

Third Finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The Third Discovery of the Venerable Head of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John occurred in about the year 850.

Venerable Erasmus of the Kiev Near Caves

The saint experienced great temptations after he had given away his wealth. The Evil One began to suggest to him that he should have given the money to the poor, rather than spend it on the beautification of the church.

Right-Believing Prince Roman of Uglich

He established a poor-house and took in the destitute, who came to him from everywhere. In the principality he built fifteen more churches. Saint Roman was present every day at the divine services, and he often conversed with pious monks.