Why are we not as devoted to St. John the Baptist as our forefathers were? | Blogs | LifeSite

June 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Each year in the Western rites of the Catholic Church, the birthday or nativity of St. John the Baptist, Precursor of the Lord, is celebrated on June 24, exactly six months away from the nativity of Jesus Christ Our Lord. The simplest explanation for the date is that, as the St. Andrew’s Daily Missal says, “in the Gospel of March 25th we read that the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that three months later [i.e., end of June], Elizabeth, in virtue of a divine miracle, would have a son.” But there is also an allegorical explanation given by all the liturgical commentators across the ages. As John himself said, concerning the Messiah: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). Right around Christmas in the northern hemisphere falls the shortest day of the year, when the darkness is at its peak; after this, the light will slowly increase. Similarly, right around St. John’s nativity falls the longest day of the year, after which the light — John’s light — will decrease. The cycle of nature itself proclaims the right relationship between the Son and Word of God and all of His disciples, no matter how great. Those who study liturgical, architectural, and artistic history might be astonished as they come to see the magnitude of the traditional devotion to the Baptist, greatest of the prophets, over all the centuries of the Church, in lands Eastern and Western. In Europe there were thousands of churches dedicated to him, statues and innumerable windows, paintings of every description. He was one of the most popular patrons of places. After the Virgin Mary, there is practically no saint more often invoked.

Why are we not as devoted to St. John the Baptist as our forefathers were? | Blogs | LifeSite

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