On the Life and Death of Saint John the Baptist

earlier posted  on : august 29, 2020 by : evensong
On this day, the Church commemorates the beheading of St. John the Baptist which occurred because he preached the truth about the adulterous King Herod; a truth so unwelcome that it cost him his life.

This truth is one of many depicted in the sacred scriptures, truths  which have become unwelcome and obscured in this dark time.

RECALLING ST. JOHN’S BIRTH AND DEATH

In recalling to us  St. John’s birth, the Church implicitly emphasises original sin and baptism.

  • John was freed from original sin in his mother’s womb by Jesus, before either were born, through the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was the first miracle worked by our Lord Jesus Christ and was performed through the mediation of His Immaculate Mother. The fact that Mary – and the Divine Child within her, hastened to baptise John tells us the importance that Jesus placed on freeing John from sin. Our Lord Jesus Christ hates sin!

  • Scripture tells us that John baptised in penance, thus we are called to consider the necessity of repentance and the need for baptism to free each of us from original sin. Penance is absolutely necessary to free us from ongoing sins; since even the just man sins daily, so we ought always to keep a penitential heart, willing to bear every cross in reparation for our sins.

The Gravity of Sin

Regarding St. John’s life and death,  we are reminded of the gravity of sin, of the necessity for penance and reparation and of the inviolability of marriage between one man and one woman. In Matthew we read this description:

“John had his garment of camels’ hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. And his words: “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. …And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: “Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance …For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire.

“I indeed baptise you in the water unto penance, but He that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptise you in the Holy Ghost and fire. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Now what are we told of his end? Again, St. Matthew tells us:

“For Herod had apprehended John and bound him, and put him into prison, because of Herodias, his brother’ s wife. For John said to him: It is not lawful for thee to have her.  And having a mind to put him to death, he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet. But on Herod’ s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist.  And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.  And his head was brought in a dish: and it was given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother.”

The passages above point us to the gravity of sin and its dire consequences. Those who do not bear good fruit will be “cast into the fire”, indeed, into “unquenchable fire”,  Now, this is one message you will not hear from this poor pope, who jovially urges all to continue on in lives of sin. In fact, he assures us, it is the job of the shepherds to accompany us in our sins! Thus we have the delightful picture foretold by Sister Lúcia of the blind leading the blind, all of them wandering right on down to the unquenchable fire, regardless of their denials of this unpleasant fact.

Herod, precursor of today’s false leaders

St. Matthew tells us of Herod and his “wife” Herodias and her daughter Salome. Although they were a scandal in their time, they would be simply tabloid fodder today and many would be eager to emulate them, as they imitate the trashy media fodder of today’s infomedia. For people who deny the truth of Christ, are drawn to the base and vulgar; as is the Bishop of Rome.  Pope Francis honors “celebrities” who mock Christ and His Church, such as Patti Smith (whose ‘partner’ Robert Mapplethorpe was the “artist” most noted for displaying a crucified Christ in a jar of urine). Other celebrities are Salma  Hayek (notable for her role in the blasphemous anti-Catholic film ‘Dogma’) and Emma Bonino (influential abortionist who proudly claims the murder of thousands of preborn infants). And Pope Francis honors scandalous homosexuals by promoting them to top posts at the Vatican despite their lack of credentials, which we have discussed in numerous posts. Most lately, Pope Francis has given Holy Communion to pro-abortion President Fernandez of Argentina, and his concubine Fabiola Yanez, disregarding their very open persistence in mortal sin (link).

As I remarked in an earlier post, Falling Like Stars, June 2020“, for Pope Francis to give the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to unrepentant public sinners such as Argentina’s President and his concubine is sacrilege and apostasy at the very top of the Holy Catholic Church. Can you not see that not one leader in our Church, neither clerical nor laity, has alerted the faithful about this? And yet they prattle endlessly about voting for Trump and every priceless gem from the mouth of their prophet Vigano.  Pray to valiant Saint John for grace for these faithless false leaders.

As Saint John was the precursor to Christ our Saviour, Herod is the precursor of the dark leaders of today, who serve the Ancient Adversary of Christ.

Herod was drawn to St. John the Baptist but in the end, Herod decided to serve his own gods, lust for his brother’s wife and her sensuous daughter, and his proud regard for keeping the oath he swore to her before his friends. And so John was beheaded, the precursor leading the way before the crucifixion of His Savior.

Now, under the current pope,  the deep significance of the life and martyrdom of St. John, i.e., God’s hatred for sin, the importance of conversion and reparation, the sanctity of marriage, is disregarded. But we who are Mary’s children return again to the true message of the Gospel and we still hear St. John the Baptist today, though millennia have passed,

“Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand … Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. … He that shall come after me, is mightier than I, … Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

We close with the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Apocalypse:

“Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.” (Apoc. 3, 3).

And we also bear always in mind the words of Our Lady of Fatima:

“Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Update for 2020: When this was originally posted, the scandal was that Pope Francis welcomes sinners, not as sinners in need of repentance, but as acceptable role models, completely indifferent to the Gospel of the true head of the Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the present time, this indifference, disguised as tolerance or political expediency has pervaded all areas of the faith. But despite all the betrayal, the Holy Ghost reminds us, through His Spouse, the Immaculate Mother of God,

“People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

Pray the Rosary for the conversion and repentance of Pope Francis and our hierarchy.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
†  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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