The 29th. of August recalls one of the more gory events in the New Testament. St. John, Our Lord's cousin was gratuiously murdered as a result of the machinations of the mother of Salome, who was attempting to gain influence in the royal court, even stooping to using her daughter as a sexual exhibition to gain the King's attention. Just as John's ministry had forshadowed Christ's own, so also his martyrdom as a result of the lust and corruption of others prefigured Our Lord's death for the sake of all sinners.
I am always keen to remember the feasts of John the Baptist, perhaps because he is one of the saints who tends to get forgotten (especially here in England, it would seem), despite his close relationship to Our Lord, and also because the ancient (now Anglican) parish church of Erith, close to my home, is dedicated to him.
|St. John the Baptist church, Erith|
Sancte Ioannes Baptista, ora pro nobis.