Birth of Saint John the Baptist

July 6, 2021

Saint John the Baptist was whom none born of women was greater. He it was whom our Lord Jesus Christ praised, and he it was who bowed to Him when He was in his mother’s womb, and it was meet for him to lay his hand upon the head of the Son of the Living God.

As written in the Holy Gospel, when the days of the conception of Elisabeth were fulfilled that she should bring forth, she brought forth a son.  And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that God had multiplied His mercy to her and they rejoiced with her.  And when the eighth day came one arrived to circumcise the boy, and he called him by the name of his father Zacharias; But his mother said, “No, he shall be called ‘John.” Then, they said to her, “None of thy kinsfolk is called by this name,” so, they asked his father and said to him, “What do you wish him to be called?”  And he wrote, saying, “His name is John.” Right then he regained back his vocal and his tongue was loosed from his deafness.  After, he praised God, and prophesied concerning his son, that he should be called the “Prophet of the Highest,” and “he shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way.”

When his second year was completed, the stargazers  came and  Herod  killed  the  children;  By then,  one  informed  Herod  about  this prophet, and his soldiers searched to kill him.  His father Zacharias and carried him on his shoulders and asked them to come with him into the sanctuary. He laid his child upon the horn of the altar, and said to them, “Take him from here.”  Suddenly, the angel of God caught up the child, and carried him to a desert, the name of which is Zipata.  When the soldiers could not find him they became very angry, and so killed Zacharias his father instead. John the Baptist dwelt in the desert until God commanded him to come to the desert of the Jordan, to preach the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ and to reveal himself to the people of Israel; Even as Malachi the prophet prophesied concerning him, saying, “That preacher is an angel before the Redeemer, and is in truth the similitude of the angels.”

Saint John was full of the Holy Spirit when he was in the womb of his mother, and of him it was said, “he shall dwell in the desert, and he shall neither eat bread, nor drink wine, all  the  days  of  his  life.”  Our Lord Jesus Christ witnesses about him saying, “Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Among those born of the offspring of women there is none greater than John the Baptist”.” he knew not a woman and committed no sin, neither great nor little.

He preached in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him from heaven. At last,  he  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom,  which,  in  truth,  is incorruptible in the kingdom of the heavens.

Salutation to thy birth, O John the Baptist.


Source: “The Ethiopian Synazarium”, page 600