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  • P. Claudio

Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist

On August 29 we commemorate the martyrdom of Saint John "The Baptist" known for having performed the baptism of Jesus. Saint John died at the hands of Herod, tetrarch of Perea and Galilee, after his captivity in the fortress of Macheronte, which would be located in Perea, in present-day Jordan.

The Gospel, after Christ's baptism in the Jordan River, tells us that the tetrarch, hearing stories about Jesus, believed that John the Baptist had risen from the dead.

Herod had married Herodias, wife of his brother Philip, which John publicly disapproved. After knowing this, and to please his wife, Herod imprisoned the prophet. Although he locked him up, the tetrarch kept him alive because he liked the stories he told and he was afraid of possible reprisals from the town if he killed him. But, on his birthday, Herod swore to her stepdaughter Salome that he would give her whatever gift she wanted, for having danced in his honor.

Salomé's mother asked her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Herod, though reluctant, kept his promise and had him beheaded. Salome gave his head to his mother and the prophet's disciples buried his body.

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