Feast of John the Baptist
September 9, 2022
Saint John the Baptist, son of Zacharias the priest, the forerunner and great prophet was martyred on the second day of September (E.C) by the order of King Herod. When Saint John rebuked Herod because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip whom he had taken as a wife, he said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” (Mark 6:18) Herod seized the Saint and cast him into prison; however, he feared John.
An opportune day came when Herod, on his birthday, gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers and the chief men of Galilee. When Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced and pleased Herod. He promised her anything she might ask for, even as much as half of his kingdom. She went to her mother and asked her, “What shall I ask?” Her mother said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” When Herod heard this, he was exceedingly sorry. But because of his promise and those who were sitting with him, he did not want to refuse her request. He therefore commanded his servants to cut off the head of Saint John and they gave it to the damsel and the damsel gave it to her mother. (Mark 6:20-28) There was great consternation that day, and their joy soon turned into sorrow.
It was said that when the holy head of Saint John was cut off, it flew up off their hands into the air, and it cried out saying, “It is not right for you to take your brother’s wife.” It is also said that the head now is present at Homs in Syria.
As of the holy body, the disciples of Saint John took it and laid it in a grave until the days of Pope Athanathius, when God Willed to uncover his body.
May his intercession and blessings be with us all, Amen.
Source: Coptic Orthodox Church