Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Nativity Of Saint John The Baptist. Feast Day 24 June.


Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
Feast Day 24 June.

Double of The First Class
   with an Octave.

White Vestments.



English: The Voice in the Desert.
Français: La voix dans le désert.
Artist: James Tissot (1836-1902).
Date: Between 1886 and 1894.
Current location: Brooklyn Museum, New York City.
Credit line: Purchased by public subscription.
Source/Photographer: Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum.
Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2007, 00.159.44_PS1.jpg.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Deutsch: Im Innern der Probsteikirche in Königsberg.
English: Interior of Saint John the Baptist Church, Konigsberg.
Date: 1904.
Source: http://www.bildarchiv-ostpreussen.de/index.html
Author: Herausgeber: Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen e.V. Parkallee 84/86 20144 Hamburg HRA VR4551 Ust-ID-Nr.: DE118718969Bundesgeschäftsführer: Dr. Sebastian Husen.
(Wikimedia Commons)


"A Prophet of The Most High" (Alleluia), Saint John is pre-figured by Isaias and Jeremias (Introit, Epistle, Gospel); moreover, he was Consecrated before birth to announce Jesus (Secret) and to prepare Souls for His coming.

The Gospel narrates the prodigies which accompanied his birth. Zachary gives his child the name which Saint Gabriel has brought him from Heaven, which signifies: The Lord has pardoned. He immediately recovers his speech and, filled with the Holy Ghost, he foretells the greatness of his son: "He shall walk before the Face of the Lord to give unto the people the knowledge of salvation."



The Virgin and Child, with the Infant Saint John,
appearing to Saint Jerome and Saint Anthony.
Artist: Andrea Celesti (1637-1712).
Date: Circa 1700.
Current location: Santa Maria dei Derelitti,
Venice, Italy.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Angel Gabriel had announced to Zachary that "many would rejoice in the birth of Saint John the Baptist". Indeed, not only "the neighbours and relations of Elizabeth" solemnised the event, but every year, on its anniversary, the whole Church invites her children to share in this Holy Joy. She knows that the Nativity "of this Prophet of The Most High", at this "Summer Christmas", is intimately connected with the Advent of the Messias.

After the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the days become shorter, while, on the contrary, after the Nativity of the Saviour, of which this Feast is the prelude, the days become longer. The Precursor must efface himself before Jesus, Who is the True Light of Faith. "He must increase," says Saint John, "and I must decrease."

The Solstices were the occasion of pagan feasts, when fires were lighted to honour the orb which gives us light. The Church Christianised the Rites, seeing in them a symbol of Saint John, who was "a burning and brilliant lamp".



Artist: Caravaggio (1573-1610).
Date: 1608.
Current location: St. Johns Co-Cathedral,
Source/Photographer: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002.
ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Indeed, "she encouraged this kind of manifestation, which corresponds so well with the character of the Feast. The Saint John bonfires happily completed The Liturgical Solemnity: They showed The Church and the Earthly City united in one thought." ["The Liturgical Year", by Dom Guéranger: The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.]

The name of The Precursor is inscribed in The Canon of The Mass at the head of The Second List.

Formerly, on his Feast Day, three Masses were celebrated in his honour, and numerous Churches were dedicated to him. Parents loved to give his name to their children.



Gregorian Chant.
The Life of Saint John the Baptist.
Available on YouTube at


Paul the Deacon, a Monk of Monte Cassino and a friend of Charlemagne, had composed, in honour of Saint John the Baptist, the Hymn: "Ut queant laxis." In the 13th-Century, the Benedictine Monk, Guy of Arezzo, noticed that the notes, sung on the first syllabes, formed the sequence of the first six degrees of the scale. He named each degree by the corresponding syllable: "Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si" and thereby greatly facilitated the study of musical intervals.

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris [Do - Re]
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum [Mi - Fa]
Solve polluti labii reatum [Sol - La]
Sancte Johannes [Si] (S J makes Si)

Unloose, great Baptist, our sin-fettered lips;
That with enfranchis'd voice we may proclaim,
The Miracles of thy transcendent life,
Thy deeds of matchless fame.

"That thy servants may sing with full voice the marvels of thy works, purify their sullied lips, O Saint John."

Immediately Zachary made signs that he wished to call his son "John", he recovered his speech; and lo !, a Hymn composed in honour of the Prophet, whose voice resounds in the desert, becomes the occasion of a new progress in music.

Every Parish Priest celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.




Magyar: A barokk stílusú Szent János és Pál kápolna Szekszárdon.
Esperanto: Kapelo Sanktaj Johano kaj Paŭlo en Szekszárd, Hungario.
English: The Chapel of Saint John and Saint Paul in Szekszárd, Hungary.
Photo: 4 October 2010.
Source: Hungarian Wikipedia, file hu:file:SzentJanos esPal.jpg.
Author: Pásztörperc.
(Wikimedia Commons)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...