St. John the Baptist

Beloved Parish Family In Jesus Our Lord,

How did St. John the Baptist die?

Let’s talk about him a little before giving the correct answer to this question.

In our Maronite Catholic Church we devote one entire week to talk about St. John the Baptist’s conception and then another week to honor his birth during the Season of Announcement. We and the entire world have good reasons to rejoice for the birth of St. John the Baptist.

After he completes his chosen mission which is to point to Jesus – the one who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, he continues his holy mission as a person chosen by God which makes him speak out a truth about a sinful way the royalty is living a certain marriage. St. John knows this truth about the design of marriage by God which is good for everyone from the most powerful person to the very common person. Something is very wrong and St. John has the love it takes and the courage it takes to say so.

There was this illegitimate move by Herod to take the wife of his brother Philip to be his wife. St. John pointed out the mistake which brought out the worst in Herod. This man of only earthly powers had St. John arrested and thrown in prison. St. John did the right thing but the man of power did not like it and wanted to punish him. The Scriptures tell us that Herod had a fear of the good St. John.

It happened that there was a festive birthday at the palace for Herod and the daughter of Herodias did a dance of great delight to everyone. This was so moving that Herod made an offer to fulfill any request she had of him. Herodias went to her mother and she asked for the head of St. John on a platter. Herod sent his armed servants to the prison cell of St. John. They entered and prepared St. John for his terrible death. They opened his garment, set his head down then chopped it off with a sword.

How did St. John the Baptist die? Answer, his head was chopped off. He defended the truth about marriage as God designed. He attempted to correct the error.

All our Catholic Church will celebrate the feast day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Friday, August 29. His death is very sad but his example and courage cause us to rejoice.

It would be a good thing for all of us to honor this great Saint, the loyal Prophet of God, this hero for the truth. May all the members of our Holy Catholic Church including our young ones who are growing into adulthood also come to love and defend all the truths about the one correct form of marriage even if it forces our life to an end like St. John the Baptist.