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A Prayer For The Memorial Of Saint John The Baptist

For August 29th or Other Occasions

The Beheading of John the Baptist commemorates the death of John the Baptist by the order of King Herod, as told in The Gospel of Matthew 14:3-12 and the other synoptic gospels. Herod had imprisoned John because John disapproved of Herod's divorce, in which he unlawfully took Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I. On Herod's birthday, Herodias's daughter (Josephus identifies her as Salome, although the Bible doesn't give her name) danced before the king and his guests. Her dancing pleased Herod, so that (while drunk) he promised to give her anything she wanted. When Salome asked her mother what she should request, she suggested asking for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although Herod did not like this request, he reluctantly agreed and had John executed.

Beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio

Prayer For The Beheading of John the Baptist
You called John the Baptist
to be the herald
of the birth and death of your Son.
Just as John gave his life
as a witness to your truth and justice,
so give us the courage
to profess our faith in all situations.
And may your grace
strengthen and keep
all those being persecuted
for your name's sake. Amen
Adapted, From The Liturgy Of The Hours

Last updated 08-29-2016

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