Most of us know the basics about John the Baptist: His father lost his voice until John was circumcised, he, John, lived in the desert, wore a camel hair shirt, ate locusts and honey and got his head cut off after being in prison for awhile.
One thing that is often downplayed or overlooked, at least by me, is what it was that got St. John sent to prison and which ultimately got his head cut off. As Father put it last night, St. John the Baptist died defending marriage. He was speaking out about Herod marrying his own brother's wife, which got him put in jail and which caused Herod's wife (through her daughter) to demand his head on a platter.
It was the way Father said it that got me thinking that St. John would be a great intercessor for the battle we are fighting today - the battle to defeat traditional, Christian marriage. I think we should make St. John the Baptist the patron saint of our fight and invoke his intercession in this very crucial battle. Spread the word! Let's see if we can start a movement!
St. John the Baptist, defender of marriage, pray for us!
P.S. Another interesting thing I was reminded about last night came from a prayer sheet the parish had for us at the celebration dinner. It said:
"This saint, whom we honor as our parish patron, said, 'I must decrease that He may increase.' Early Christians in the Northern Hemisphere saw in the summer solstice a natural response to that saying. The sun begins its decrease so that Christ may be born at its time of initial increase."
Pretty cool, huh? Who says there isn't a God who ordains all things and a Holy Spirit guiding His church??