The Birthday of Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist
Date of celebration: 24/06
On this day our Holy Church celebrates the birth of the glorious Prophet Forerunner and Baptist John. Zacharias’ father was a priest. One day at the time of incense, he saw in the altar an angel of the Lord, who announced to him that he would have a son whom he would name John. Zacharias squealed with joy, but was in disbelief.
His wife was old and barren and therefore it was impossible to conceive and he expressed these doubts to the angel who answered that the child would be born and he would be punished for his infidelity by remaining deaf and dumb until God’s will was fulfilled. Indeed his wife Elizabeth conceived and after nine months gave birth to a son. Eight days after the birth, during the circumcision of the child, the relatives wanted to give him the name of his father, i.e. Zacharias.
But Zacharias wrote on the plate the name John. Immediately his tongue was loosed and all those present were filled with joy and hope, because they understood that the Forerunner of the presence of the expected Messiah was born. John not only possessed the gift of prophecy, but he also deserved the greatest joy and honor. He baptized the Messiah Christ, whom he professed throughout his life.