Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
John the Baptist
Feast day: June 24
John the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in
Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of Mary who visited her. He was
probably born at Ain-Karim southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel
Gabriel had told Zachary that his wife would bear a child even though
she was an old woman.
He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea until about A.D. 27. When he
was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the
evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism "for the
Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand".
He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, John recognized
Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, "It is I who need baptism
from You". When Christ left to preach in Galilee, John continued
preaching in the Jordan valley.
Fearful of his great power with the people, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of
Perea and Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned at Machaerus Fortress
on the Dead Sea when John denounced his adultrous and incestuous
marriage with Herodias, wife of his half brother Philip.
John was beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias, who
asked for his head at the instigation of her mother.
John inspired many of his followers to follow Christ when he designated
Him "the Lamb of God," among them Andrew and John, who came to know
Christ through John's preaching. John is presented in the New Testament
as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the precursor of the
Messiah. His feast day is June 24th and the feast for his beheading is