Beheading of St John the Baptist Saint of The Day August 29
St John, the baptizer, lived in a desert until the day when he started preaching penance, to “prepare for the Lord a perfect people”. His hearers were urged to be faithful and honest in fulﬁlling their worldly duties and to be baptized in the Jordan for the remission of repented sins. On the day when Jesus submitted to this ceremony, the Father manifested him to the world: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!” (Mt 3:17)
John gathered many disciples together and taught them to lead a life of prayer and fasting. Then, for having openly rebuked King Herod Antipas for his incestuous relationship with Herodias, his half-brother’s wife, he was arrested and imprisoned in the mountain fortress of Machaerus. Herodias never forgave him and did not rest until Herod ordered the Precursor’s decapitation, the result of a rashly taken oath on the occasion of Salome’s notorious dance at Herod’s birthday celebrations. All this took place about a year before Jesus’ own Passion.