Saint John the Baptist
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus.” (Matt. xiv. 1). For Herod the king, this man’s father, he that slew the children, was dead. But not without a purpose doth the evangelist signify the time, but to make thee observe also the haughtiness of the tyrant, and his thoughtlessness, in that not at the beginning did he inform himself about Christ, but after a very long time. For such are they that are in places of power, and are encompassed with much pomp, they learn these things late, because they do not make much account of them.
Today is a little Great Friday, a second Great Friday. For today the greatest man among those born of women, John, the Holy Forerunner and Baptiser of the Lord, is murdered. On Great Friday, people murdered God, crucified God. On today’s holy great feast, people murdered the greatest of all men. It is not I who chose to use the expression “the greatest.” What are my praises of the great and glorious Forerunner of the Lord, whom the Lord praised more than anyone among men, more than any of the apostles, the Angels, the Prophets, the Righteous Ones, the Sages? For the Lord declared of him: “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…” (Мatthew 11: 11). In all Creation, there exists no greater praise.
The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet, the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of the Apostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, the God-sent Messenger of the incarnate Messiah, the forerunner of Christ’s coming into the world (Esaias 40: 3; Mal. 3: 1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb; who came forth like another Elias the Zealot, whose life in the wilderness and divine zeal for God’s Law he imitated: this divine Prophet, after he had preached the baptism of repentance according to God’s command; had taught men of low rank and high how they must order their lives;
On the next day after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Holy Church glorifies the Forerunner and Baptist John (about him see Mt. 3:1-16; 11:1-19; 14:1-12; Mk. 1:2-8; 6:14-29; Lk. 1:5-25,39-80; 3:1-20; 7:18-35; 9:7-9; Jn. 1:19-34; 3:22-26), as such a man, who, having been included himself in line with holy prophets, foretold […]
John the Forerunner, the beginning of the joy-bearing message about the coming of our Christ in the world, ceaselessly preaches the gospel of salvation for about two thousand years: “Brethren, prepare the way, make straight the paths of your hearts, He is coming, who is incomparably stronger than me, He, of whom I am not […]
This came to pass fifteen months before the birth of Christ, after the vision of the Angel that Zacharias, the father of the Forerunner, saw in the Temple while he executed the priest’s office in the order of his course during the feast of the Tabernacles, as tradition bears witness. In this vision, the […]
Homily on the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John, the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord
Today is a little Great Friday, a second Great Friday. For today the greatest man among those born of women, John, the Holy Forerunner and Baptiser of the Lord, is murdered. On Great Friday, people murdered God, crucified God. On today’s holy great feast, people murdered the greatest of all men. It is not I […]
The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet,the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of theApostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, theGod-sent Messenger of theincarnate Messiah, theforerunner of Christ’s coming into the world (Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3: 1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled withthe Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb; who came forth like another Eliasthe Zealot, whose life in thewilderness and divine zeal for […]
The body of Saint John the Baptist was buried in the Samaritan city of Sebaste. The holy Evangelist Luke, who went preaching Christ in various cities and towns, came to Sebaste, where they gave him the right hand of the holy Prophet John, the very hand with which he had baptized the Savior. The Evangelist […]
Six months before his appearance in Nazareth to the All-holy Virgin Mary, the great archangel of God, Gabriel appeared to Zacharias the high priest in the Temple at Jerusalem. Before he announced the miraculous conception to the unwed Virgin Mary, the archangel announced the miraculous conception to the childless old woman Elizabeth. Zacharias did not […]
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich Because John’s main role in his life was played out on the day of the Epiphany (Theophany), the Church from earliest times dedicated the day following Epiphany to his memory. To this feast is also linked the incident with the hand of the Forerunner. The Evangelist Luke desired to remove the […]