Lives of Saints - Beheading of John the Forerunner Christianity - Books
Don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear.                Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.                Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds!                Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height?                If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest?                Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.                But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?                Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious.                For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things.                But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.               
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Beheading of John the Forerunner

John the Baptist, was the son of Zachariah, a temple priest, and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was born when his mother was advanced in age, after the foretelling of his birth and the choice of his name by an angel. He began his mission of preaching and baptizing in the river Jordan at about 27 AD. His way of life closely resembled those of some Old Testament prophets, such as Elias. His message was one of repentance and preparation for the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom. Among his disciples were the Apostles St. Peter and St. Andrew. John baptized Jesus and recognised Him as the Messiah when he saw the Spirit come down on Him.

John also denounced the incestuous relationship of Herod Antipas with his niece and brother's wife, Herodias, and was imprisoned for doing so. His death was brought about by the hatred of Herodias and the weakness of Herod. When Salome, her daughter, had greatly pleased Herod with her dancing, he promised her anything she wanted. She demanded John's head on a dish. The executioner Machaeus beheaded John and presented his head to Salome, who passed it on to her mother.

John the Baptist was believed to be buried in Samaria where he was honoured in the 4th century, but the tomb was desecrated by Julian the Apostate. The death of the Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist is remembered on 11th September, and the Church keeps a strict fast on this day.


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