24th June Nativity of St John The Baptist

The feast of the Nativity, or birthday, of St. John the Baptizer, the precursor of he Messiah and born six months before Him, is observed on June 24, and is one of the oldest feasts in the liturgy of the Church. He was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tradition places the home and birthplace of the Baptizer near the village of Ain-Karim, six miles west of Jerusalem, where a Franciscan church marks the site. The church is called “St John in the Mountains.” Before St. John was born, an angel announced that “many would rejoice in his birth” and so June 24 is ranked among the joyous feasts of the year. In former times, and in other lands, it was observed with greater holiday rejoicing and greater outward display than in today’s world. On the eve of St. John’s Day “St. John’s fires” were lit on the hills and mountains in many countries. “Scarce had the last rays of the setting sun died away, when all the world over, immense columns of flames arose from every mountain top, and in an instant every town, village and hamlet was lit up.” 

Prayer to St. John the Baptist

I. O glorious Saint John the Baptist, greatest prophet among those born of woman, although thou wast sanctified in thy mother’s womb and didst lead a most innocent life, nevertheless it was thy will to retire into the wilderness, there to devote thyself to the practice of austerity and penance; obtain for us of thy Lord the grace to be wholly detached, at least in our hearts, from earthly goods, and to practice Christian mortification with interior recollection and with the spirit of holy prayer.

• Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be
II. O most zealous Apostle, who, without working any miracle on others, but solely by the example of thy life of penance and the power of thy word, didst draw after thee the multitudes, in order to dispose them to receive the Messiah worthily and to listen to His heavenly doctrine; grant that it may be given unto us, by means of thy example of a holy life and the exercise of every good work, to bring many souls to God, but above all those souls that are enveloped in the darkness of error and ignorance and are led astray by vice.

• Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be
III. O Martyr invincible, who, for the honor of God and the salvation of souls didst with firmness and constancy withstand the impiety of Herod even at the cost of thine own life, and didst rebuke him openly for his wicked and dissolute life; by thy prayers obtain for us a heart, brave and generous, in order that we may overcome all human respect and openly profess our faith in loyal obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our divine Master.

• Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.


Almighty God,
by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born,
and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour
by the preaching of repentance:
lead us to repent according to his preaching
and, after his example,
constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice,
and patiently to suffer for the truth’s sake;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Litany of St. John the Baptist

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Martyrs,
St. John the Baptist,
St. John the Baptist, glorious forerunner of the Son of justice,
St. John the Baptist, minister of baptism to Jesus,
St. John the Baptist, burning and shining lamp of the world,
St. John the Baptist, angel of purity, before thy birth,
St. John the Baptist, special friend and favorite of Christ,
St. John the Baptist, heavenly contemplative, whose element was prayer,
St. John the Baptist, intrepid preacher of truth,
St. John the Baptist, miracle of mortification and penance,
St. John the Baptist, example of profound humility,
St. John the Baptist, glorious martyr of zeal for God’s holy law,
St. John the Baptist, glorious patron of this State,

Lamb of God, Who Takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God! Who takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God! Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us;
Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, O glorious St. John the Baptist,
R. That we may be made worth of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O God, Who hast honored this world by the birth of St. John the Baptist, grant that Thy faithful people may rejoice in the way of eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen