|Orthodox Calendar 2018|
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
First and second finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist of the Lord, JohnDuring 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.
|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.|
St. John of ShanghaiBeing 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 PopovicWhat 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.
Priest Maxim MassalitinUnfortunately, 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”. 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.
|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.|
Archpriest Andrew PhillipsOur 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.
St. Sebastian DabovichThis 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.
St. Justin PopovicToday 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.
|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 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.|
St. John ChrysostomBut 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.
|The Third Discovery of the Venerable Head of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John occurred in about the year 850.|
|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.|
|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.|