When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy
toward her, and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going
to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the
hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with
Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people. He has
raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, even as he promised through the
mouth of his holy prophets from of old: salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to
show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his
holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham
our father, and to grant us that, rescued from the
hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give
his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of
their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the
daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in
darkness and death's shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was
in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
In those days John the Baptist appeared,
preaching in the desert of Judea (and)
saying,Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way
of the Lord, make straight his paths.’
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him
in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
June 24 - The Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
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