St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist

John the Baptist was born around the same time as Jesus Christ to his mother Elizabeth and his father Zechariah. When he was around 2 years old, King Herod had set a decree to kill all the children at the time. According to tradition, John’s father brought him to the temple and laid him at the altar saying, “I have received him from this place.” The angel of the Lord then caught up the child and brought him to the wilderness and the soldiers who were looking for John killed his father in anger.

John stayed in the wilderness for 20 years living as a hermit. He clothed himself with camel’s hair and a leather belt and ate locusts and wild honey. In the era of Pontus Pilate, John the Baptist came out of the wilderness and into the region of Jordan by word from God in order to preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Many people around the region were baptized by John seeking the forgiveness of their sins and even Christ himself insisted John baptize him.

John was later imprisoned for criticizing king Herod for taking his brother’s wife Herodias as a wife for himself. Jesus spoke of john very highly saying that no man born of a woman would be greater than him.

During Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias pleased the king with her dancing, and he promised her whatever she asked for as a gift. Her being persuaded by her mother asked for John’s head on a platter and due to the promise, the king had to provide that. The martyrdom of St. John took place around 28-29 A.D.

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