Friday, 29 August 2008

Memorial of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

We Catholic honor the memory of the beheading of John the Baptist, who along with our Lord Jesus Christ and Mother Mary have the distinction of their birth and death being celebrated by the Catholic Church. Today's gospel reading relates the circumstances of his execution. 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 and took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to obtain through her daughter Salome the beheading of the saint.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch:
There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: "I am the truth"? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ. — Saint Bede the Venerable

(the above is taken from Catholic Culture)


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