I’m going to age myself here, but when I was young, one of my favorite movies was the musical Godspell. It was a modern-day adaptation (in 1973) of the Saint Matthew Gospel brought to the silver screen.
The opening scene shows John the Baptist calling young people from all walks of life — an artist, a dancer, a waitress, a student, a taxi driver — to leave their everyday life behind and “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Here it is in case you haven’t seen it.
I’m reminded of Godspell because today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist … in other words, the birth of Saint John the Baptist.
One of the more well-known stories in Scripture is the visitation … when a pregnant Mary visits Elizabeth who has been blessed with the pregnancy of John late in life. John leaps for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. This could be considered the first official meeting of Jesus and John.
John went on to dedicate his life to preparing the way for Jesus. He’s known as one of the greatest prophets, telling everyone about the coming of Jesus and the need to repent. And of course, he ultimately was martyred.
It’s only fitting that the church celebrates the death of this beloved Saint (in August), but also on June 24th his miraculous birth.
In honor of Saint John the Baptist’s birthday, Genuflect looks at how we can model our own life after his to follow Jesus Christ. We look at interesting facts about the birth and life of this Saint, how he was the forerunner of Christ, how we can learn to follow Christ from John, notable quotes from the Baptist, and a litany of John the Baptist we can pray.
So join me in wishing a happy birthday to Saint John the Baptist. Rather than singing him the Happy Birthday song, I believe he would approve of this one, also from Godspell (and my favorite), “Day by Day.”
And be sure to check out the free Prayer Planner download below!
Founding Editor, Genuflect
P.S. If you didn’t start praying the Novena to John the Baptist last week, that’s okay! You can start now. You’ll find the prayers here.
John The Baptist’s Birthday
Aside from Mary, John the Baptist is the only other Saint whose birth and death are celebrated by the church. And we’ve been celebrating the Baptist’s birthday since 506! Here you’ll learn why some people light bonfires on the eve of John’s birthday, why we celebrate on June 24th, and what unique thing happens when the Solemnity of John the Baptist’s Nativity falls on a Sunday.
St. John The Baptist’s Birthday | Simply Catholic
11 Facts About John
We know John the Baptist from inside and outside the New Testament. In fact, he was famous in his time. Here are 11 interesting facts to know about his inspirational life.
Who Was St. John The Baptist? (11 Things to Know And Share) | National Catholic Register
Forerunner of Christ
Aside from being a great follower of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist was also a great prophet, preparing the way for Jesus. But prophets back in the day were not the same as what we think of prophets today. To better understand John and his greatness, you need to understand more about his work as the forerunner of Christ.
John The Baptist: Forerunner of Christ | Catholic Exchange
Birth of a New Era
Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Steve Grunow explains this is much more than the birth of a child. It’s the birth of a new era. And here’s the take away we can and should apply to our own life.
St. John The Baptist And The Birth of a New Era | Word on Fire
Ways to Follow Like John
John the Baptist was one of the greatest followers of Jesus Christ, beginning from the moment he heard Mary’s voice from inside his mother’s womb. He prophesied His coming. He baptised many, including Jesus. He gave his life for Him. Here are 5 ways we can follow Jesus Christ like John the Baptist.
Five Ways to Follow Jesus Like John The Baptist | Aquinas and More
Principles to Follow Like John
There are many lessons we can learn from the man who Jesus referred to as the greatest man to have ever lived. Here are 4 principles that will serve us well in our effort to follow Jesus Christ.
What Can We Learn From John the Baptist? | Marians
JPII on JTB
Saint John Paul II was one of our most beloved Popes. He was a model for following Jesus Christ in a world that was hostile to His teachings. So when JPII speaks about the importance of Saint John the Baptist and his relationship with Christ, we should take notice. Here are 7 quotes by the Saintly pontiff about JTB on the Solemnity of his nativity in 2001.
Be Like John
Bobbi Rol finds St. John the Baptist intimidating. He’s a Saint she didn’t think was very similar to her. But it took one friend to open her heart to see that perhaps God wants her to be more like John the Baptist.
Saint John The Baptist And His Locust-Eating Ways | Blessed is She
In John’s Words
Here are notable quotes by and about John the Baptist, considered by many to be the greatest prophet.
Notable Quotes From John The Baptist | Belief Net
John The Baptist Litany
John The Baptist is one of our greatest Saints and a powerful intercessor for us in heaven. Here’s a beautiful Litany you can pray that reminds us why he’s a Saint.
Prayer Planner: Never Have a Dry Prayer Life Again
Do you ever have times where you struggle with prayer? Maybe you get too busy during the day and then fall asleep before you finish. Or you don’t know what to say … or you have too much to say! It happens to all of us at one time or another.
I’ve created a Daily Prayer Planner to help get us all through those dry prayer spells. You can easily plan out your intentions and prayers and track your progress. More than 20 prayers are included and you can add your own too. Click here to download your Prayer Planner.
I’d love to hear what you think about the Prayer Planner … what works, what you’d change, and additional prayers you like. Feel free to share the page with your family and friends.
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