Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested
and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife
of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had
said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your
brotherís wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against
him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and
holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him
speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to
listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his
birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his
military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodiasí own daughter came in and performed a
dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The
king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you
wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore
many things to her, "I will grant you whatever
you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother, "What
shall I ask for?" She replied, "The head of
John the Baptist." The girl hurried back to
the kingís presence and made her request, "I want
you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his
oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his
word to her.
Mark 6: 17-26
I spoke, O Lord, of your decrees before
kings, and was not confounded; I pondered
your commands and loved them greatly.
Psalm 118: 46-47
O Lord, in your strength the just man is
glad; in Your victory how greatly he
rejoices! You have granted him his heartís
desire. You have placed on his head, O Lord,
a crown of pure gold.
A man cannot receive anything, unless it be
given him from heaven. You yourselves do bear
me witness, that I said, I am not Christ, but
that I am sent before him. He that hath the
bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of
the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him,
rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroomís
voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He
must increase, but I must decrease.
Saint John the Baptist in John 3:26-30
The Young Saint John the Baptist
by Antonio Rossellino; 1470; Marble, height 35 cm; National Gallery of Art, Washington;
August 29 - The Passion of Saint John the Baptist - Prophet and Forerunner
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