In this lesson, with the Catechism and Scriptures as our guide, we focus on the devotions and theology surrounding this holy day celebrated every year on June 24th.
All CatechismClass Lessons follow our time-tested 7 Step format: Introduction, Opening Prayers, Scripture and Commentary, Catechism Passages, Integration of the Lesson Topic, an activity, and a closing prayer. Quizzes end each of the lessons.Preview This Lesson
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Father John Echert wrote on December 29, 2014 the following on whether St. John the Baptist was born with original sin. This is taken from EWTN's website:
"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy."
The Church teaches that it was at this moment that the Baptist was freed from original sin and that he never sinned personally in the course of his life. Specifically, Pope Innocent III (1208 AD, DS 790) wrote: “Iohannemque Baptistam ab eo missum esse sanctum et iustum et in utero matris suae Spiritu Sancto repletum” (“and John the Baptist had been sent from Him [God] holy and righteous and filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb of his own mother”). Furthermore, St. Augustine commented that we properly celebrate the birthday of the Baptist in addition to his day of martyrdom, since he came into the world without sin. Hence it is only properly said of Mary that she was conceived free of original sin, as proclaimed in the Immaculate Conception. But the Baptist was granted the privilege of freedom from original sin in the womb which is singular in its own right and by the same grace of Christ, but in anticipation of the crucifixion in which that grace was won for us.
This teaching of the Church, rooted in Sacred Scripture, is probably not well known in modern times, even by many pastors and theologians. However, the truth of Tradition and the Bible still stands.
In honor of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, let us read from a Sermon by St. Augustine (A.D. 354-430):
The Church observes the birth of John as in some way sacred; and you will not find any other of the great men of old whose birth we celebrate officially. We celebrate John’s, as we celebrate Christ’s. This point cannot be passed over in silence, and if I may not perhaps be able to explain it in the way that such an important matter deserves, it is still worth thinking about it a little more deeply and fruitfully than usual.
John is born of an old woman who is barren; Christ is born of a young woman who is a virgin. That John... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Nativity of St. John the Baptist is part of the following course(s):