St. John The Baptist

Saint John the Baptist was considered by Christians to be the forerunner of Jesus who lived in A.D. 30. He was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth who was also a kinswoman of Mary, the mother of Jesus and his birth was miraculously foretold. His father was a high priest in the temple at the time of his birth. After spending sometime in the desert, he received a divine call to preach repentance to the people of the Jordan valley in preparation for the Messiah. He baptized his followers and he baptized Jesus whom he believed to be the Son of God. John's vigorous preaching and great popularity enraged the aristocracy because he stood for Truth and Justice.

King Herod who had dismissed his first wife, the daughter of the king Aretas had married Herodias, the wife of his brother. John denounced this act. Herod, fearing that John's preaching might provoke retributive action by Aretas, imprisoned John in the fortress of Machaerus. His death was brought about by the hatred of Herodias and the weakness of Herod. When Salome, her daughter had greatly pleased the king with her dancing at his birthday feast, he promised that she could have from him whatever she liked “even if it is half of my kingdom.” Instigated by her mother, she demanded the head of John the Baptist on a dish. Without a trial of any kind, Herod dispatched an executioner to John's prison (identified as Machaerus by the Dead Sea) and had his head presented to Salome who passed it on to her mother.

John the Baptist was always held in high repute in the Monastic Order because of his solitary and austere life in the desert. We are proud to have him as our school patron saint. May His life of Truth and Justice become ours.

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