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S. Joannes Baptista

St. John the Baptist, Joannes Baptista in Latin, was the son of a priest of the Temple of Jerusalem, Zachary and his wife Elizabeth kinswoman of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Angel Gabriel had announced to Mary the birth of John who was born to Elizabeth in her old age.  For much of his early life he lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea.  By the time he was thirty he began preaching along the Jordan river and called all to repent of their sins.  He baptized many of those in the large crowds he attracted.  While baptizing Jesus he said, "It is I who need baptism from You".  

John continued to preach in the Jordan Valley after Jesus left for Galilee.  Herod, the ruler of Perea and Galilee at the time feared that John was becoming too powerful and so had him imprisoned.  While in prison John condemned Herod for his adulterous marriage to his half brother's wife, Herodias.  Herod ultimately had John beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias. 

St. John the Baptist's feast day is June 24th.

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