Saturday, August 15, 2015

Novena Honoring St. John the Baptist

Holy Mother Church honors St. John the Baptist with two feast days: his birth on June 24 and the remembrance of his beheading on August 29. St. John is one of only three individuals who the Church honors their birth with a feast day; the other two individuals are the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus.
St. John the Baptist is widely known for his penance and humility, using his life in a way to lead others to Christ and glorify Him. He led a life of great simplicity and virtue. As the following prayer indicates, St. John the Baptist was freed from original sin at the moment of Mary's greeting to Elizabeth, when St. John leapt in Elizabeth's womb. The prayer below may be said as a novena, asking St. John to help us follow his example of dedication to Christ. The novena is to be recited from August 20 through August 28, the eve of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

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In Honor of St. John the Baptist
O glorious Saint John the Baptist, greatest prophet among those born of woman, although thou wast sanctified in thy mother's womb and didst lead a most innocent life, nevertheless it was thy will to retire into the wilderness, there to devote thyself to the practice of austerity and penance; obtain for us of thy Lord the grace to be wholly detached, at least in our hearts, from earthly goods, and to practice Christian mortification with interior recollection and with the spirit of holy prayer.
 ***Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

O most zealous Apostle, who, without working any miracle on others, but solely by the example of thy life of penance and the power of thy word, didst draw after thee the multitudes, in order to dispose them to receive the Messias worthily and to listen to His heavenly doctrine; grant that it may be given unto us, by means of thy example of a holy life and the exercise of every good work, to bring many souls to God, but above all those souls that are enveloped in the darkness of error and ignorance and are led astray by vice.
 ***Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

O Martyr invincible, who, for the honor of God and the salvation of souls didst with firmness and constancy withstand the impiety of Herod even at the cost of thine own life, and didst rebuke him openly for his wicked and dissolute life; by thy prayers obtain for us a heart, brave and generous, in order that we may overcome all human respect and openly profess our faith in loyal obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our divine Master.
 ***Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Preaching of St. John the Baptist by Rembrandt

God bless!

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