29th August Martyrdom St John Baptist

St. John, the Baptist was called by God to be the forerunner of His divine Son. Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”

Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation, repentance, and salvation. He had the courage to blame Herod to his face for the scandal of his illegal union with his sister-in-law Herodias, whose husband was still alive. Herodias contrived to make Herod imprison him. Salome, daughter of Herodias pleased Herod by her dancing. He promised her to grant whatever she asked. Salome went to consult with her mother. Herodias took advantage of this opportunity and instructed her daughter to demand the Head of John. Herod was grieved by this request, for he esteemed the Baptist; yet to abide by his impious oath, he sent an officer to the prison, and St. John was beheaded to satisfy the revenge of a voluptuous woman. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, John shed his blood for the truth.

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist.

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

The Knights Prayer

In thy strength, O Lord, the just man shall exult, and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. You have given him his heart desires. We beseech Thee, O Lord, that every thought, word, and action, which we offer in the memory of the suffering of Thy holy martyr, St. John the Baptist, may by his intercession, profit us unto salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, World without end. Amen

Prayer to Saint John the Baptist

Oh God, you gave St. Elizabeth, in her old age, the gift of a son, St. John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus to begin His ministry here on earth.

Lord, Fill Your people with the joy of possessing graces like those of Saint John the Baptist, and direct the minds of all us in the way of salvation and peace. St. John was martyred for truth and justice, so may we Dear God, energetically profess our Faith in You, and help us to lead others to Your Way, Your Truth, and Your Eternal Life. Amen.

PRAYER:

God, You chose St. John the Baptist to be the forerunner of Your Son Who was born and died for us. Grant that, as St. John was martyred for truth and justice, so we may energetically profess our faith in You. Amen.

Prayer to St John the Baptist

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 to…,

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 Messias 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 to…,

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 to…,

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.