John the Baptist

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John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the new.

"He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb" (Lk 1:15).

This prophecy was fulfilled when Mary visited Elizabeth.

The Holy Spirit then filled his father, Zecharaiah, at his birth.

Canticle of Zechariah

Luke 1:67-79

67 Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:
68 "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.
69 He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant,
70 even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old:
71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72 to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant
73 and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that,
74 rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us
79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and death's shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Prayer to St. John the Baptist

God, You raised up St. John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ.
Fill Your people with the joy of possessing His grace,
and direct the minds of all the faithful
in the way of peace and salvation.
Grant that, as St. John was martyred for truth and justice,
so we may energetically profess our Faith in You,
and lead others to the Way, the Truth, and Eternal Life.

Amen.