Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
The Vigil of Saint John the Baptist.
The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist (detail).
Artist: Pieter Breughel the Elder (1526-1569).
Current location: Szépművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest, Hungary.
Source: Own work.
Author: Yelkrokoyade. Taken on 20 July 2013.
Feast Day Procession of Saint John the Baptist,
Patron Saint of Florence,
in Florence, Italy, 24 June 2011.
Available on YouTube at
The Infant Jesus and John the Baptist.
Artist: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682).
In the Gospel of 25 March, we read that The Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that, three months later, Elizabeth, in virtue of a Divine Miracle, would have a son.
This is why The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is Celebrated towards the end of June.
This important Feast is preceded by a Vigil.
Mass: Ne timias.
Fresco of The Birth of Saint John the Baptist.
Artist: Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Current location: Tornabuoni Chapel,
Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy.
The Tornabuoni Chapel (Italian: Cappella Tornabuoni) is the main Chapel (or Chancel)
and well-preserved fresco cycle on its walls, one of the most complete in the City,
which was created by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop between 1485 and 1490.
At The Annunciation, when The Angel Gabriel appeared to The Virgin Mary to inform her that she would conceive of The Holy Ghost, he also informed her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was already six months pregnant (Luke 1:36). Mary then journeyed to visit Elizabeth. Luke’s Gospel recounts that the baby “leapt” in Elizabeth’s womb at the greeting of Mary (Luke 1:44).
The Nativity of John the Baptist, on 24 June, comes three months after the Celebration on 25 March of The Annunciation, when The Angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, and six months before the Christmas Celebration of The Birth of Jesus. The Nativity of John the Baptist Anticipates The Feast of Christmas.
Vespers for The Feast of Saint John the Baptist.
Recorded on 19 June 2014 at the Church of Saint Jean Baptiste,
New York City, by Tom Durack, Michael McGuinnes,
and video editing by Anthony Indelicato.
Available on YouTube at
The Nativity of John the Baptist is one of the oldest Festivals of The Christian Church, being listed by The Council of Agde, in 506 A.D., as one of that region's principal Festivals, where it was a day of rest and, like Christmas, was Celebrated with three Masses: A Vigil Mass; a Dawn Mass; and a Mid-Day Mass. This Feast of The Nativity of Saint John is one of the Patronal Feasts of The Order of Malta.
Ordinarily, the day of a Saint's death is usually Celebrated as his or her Feast Day, because that day marks their entrance into Heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions: The Birthday (Nativity) of The Blessed Virgin Mary (8 September); and The Birthday (Nativity) of Saint John the Baptist (24 June). According to Catholic Tradition and teaching, Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from Original Sin (her Conception itself is Commemorated by a separate Feast (8 December)), while Saint John the Baptist was cleansed of Original Sin in the womb of his mother.
The Nativity of John the Baptist, though not a widespread public holiday outside of Quebec, is a high-ranking Liturgical Feast, kept in The Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. In the Roman Rite it is Celebrated, since 1970, as a Solemnity. In the 1962 Missal, it is a Feast of The First-Class and, in still-earlier Missals, as a Double of The First-Class with a Common Octave.
Like The Birth of The Virgin Mary, the subject is often shown in art, especially from Florence, whose Patron Saint is John the Baptist.