"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” St. John the Baptist.
St. John’s Day is celebrated on 24th June around the world and is a celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist.
Who was St. John?
The day reminds the Christian world of this iconic prophet, who is said to have been born six months before Jesus Christ. As we know, Jesus Christ is believed to have been born on 25th December, so Christian historians judged that St. John was born on either 24th or 25th June, based on the information from the Gospel of Luke.
St. John the Baptist was a Jewish prophet who lived in the lower regions of the River Jordan, baptising people in the river after they had confessed their sins. As a travelling preacher he was very popular locally, seen as being both pious and humble.
He is recognized in many faiths: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Baha'i faith amongst others as a prophet.
According to Biblical reports, he and Jesus were relatives. Jesus described him as the greatest man in Matthew 11:11:
"Truly I tell you, among those born of women has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist."
In 30 AD, he was imprisoned and later beheaded on the order of Herod Antipas, whose recent marriage St. John had vehemently criticized. Herod had actually liked listening to St. John and only executed him at the request of his new bride.
The dates mean that this festival coincides with holidays around the world - in particular the summer solstice and its midsummer celebrations. Over time the celebrations have merged and are generally indistinguishable.
At Camphill Community Glencraig
On 24th June 2023 we had our own celebrations for St. John’s with a full flaming fire, a bell performance and a poem that told us of the wisdom and meaning behind this worldwide festival. We also had a delicious barbecue at Craigowen playground and ice cream at Comgall for the whole community!
What a great way to celebrate the summer!