Celebrating the birthday of the Baptist

The birth of St. John the Baptist

by Doug Lawrence

The Catholic Church officially celebrates only three birthdays each year: the birth of Jesus Christ, the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the birth of Jesus’ cousin, St. John the Baptist.

Celebrating the birth of Jesus and Mary makes perfect sense, but why John the Baptist? I’ll let Jesus explain, in his own words:

And when the messengers of John were departed, he (Jesus) began to speak to the multitudes concerning John.

What went ye out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are in costly apparel and live delicately are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet?

Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you: Amongst those that are born of men, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he that is the lesser in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:24-28)

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