John, Herald of the Word

Every June 24 the Church commemorates the birth of St. John the Baptist, who is one of only three persons whose birth is officially celebrated by the Church. The other two are Jesus and his mother Mary. Every other saint is remembered on or near the anniversary of death, the reason being that is the day they entered into eternal life. And while the Church also celebrates the martyrdom of John the Baptist, in addition she recalls his birthday, which is quite an extraordinary exception to the normal practice. This distinction led me to ponder, “Just how is John different from all the other saints that he deserves this extra recognition?” Continue reading