Happy birthday Cousin John!
On June 24, we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. St. John was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin, which makes John the Baptist a cousin of Jesus!
Like most families, the two cousins shared some similarities – including being born without original sin! John the Baptist is one of only three people in history who was born without original sin (Jesus and the Blessed Mother were the other two). The Church believes that John was baptized and cleansed of original sin at the moment he leapt in his mother Elizabeth’s womb during the Visitation (Luke 1:39-45).
John grew up to be strong in spirit and became the last and greatest prophet in the Old Testament. He worked tirelessly to prepare the hearts of the Jewish people for Jesus’ message, challenging them to turn away from their sins, repent, and lead holy lives.
John the Baptist’s message is as true today as it was back then: the Lord is coming, be prepared!
We invite you to pave the way for Christ into your hearts and homes through something fun: a birthday celebration for Jesus’ cousin!
And good news… a festive feast doesn’t need to be fussy. Here are a few easy ways to celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
- Read the account of St. John the Baptist’s nativity and birth. Luke 1:5-25, 57-80.
- Add honey to a meal. In Matthew 3:4, we read that St. John ate locust and wild honey. Pay homage to this special saint by adding honey to your yogurt, peanut butter sandwich, or other yummy treat
- Sit in silence like Zechariah. St. John the Baptist’s dad was mute for nine months! As a family, try staying quiet for five minute to see how St. Zechariah might have felt. Was it hard? How can you communicate without words? How do you think Zechariah felt?
Jesus, St. John the Baptist prepared a way for you in the desert. Guide our hearts and minds to follow you. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
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- Display your Feast Day Art print and read the story of St. John the Baptist’s nativity to your children.
- Have a birthday celebration using the cupcake toppers created by your saints in training. (Hint: Toppers can be used on pancakes, sandwiches, fruit, or anything you have on hand!)
- “Spot the difference” between scenes of St. John’s life!
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