Nativity of John the Baptist

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel,
for he has visited his people, he has come to their rescue
and he has raised up for us a power for salvation
in the House of his servant David,
even as he proclaimed,
by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,
that he would save us from our enemies
and from the hands of all who hate us.
Thus he shows mercy to our ancestors,
thus he remembers his holy covenant,
the oath he he swore
to our father Abraham
that he would grant us, free from fear,
to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,
to serve him in holiness and virtue
in his presence, all our days.
And you, little child,
you shall be called Prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare his way for him;
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of sins;
this by the tender mercy of our God
who from on high will bring the rising Sun to visit us,
to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet in the way of peace.
Luke 1 : 67-79

Guide our feet in the way of peace…

• Every year since 1992, thousands of pilgrims start out at 6.00am to walk together on a “Peace March” from the Franciscan Monastery in Humac, finishing at St James’ church in Medjugorje, a distance of 14 kilometres. This “witness to salvation” always takes place on June 24, feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, and concludes a nine-day prayer novena in preparation for the Anniversary celebrations of Our Lady’s apparitions at Medjugorje.

Although Our Lady’s first appearance on Podbrdo was on June 24, 1981, the Anniversary is celebrated on June 25. Some say that the reason Our Lady specified this date for her anniversary is because on that day she appeared for the first time to all six seers who were to become the core group of visionaries.

Personally, I feel there is another very simple reason, which speaks much for Our Lady’s humility; she did not want her ‘anniversary’ to overshadow the celebrations for the birth of John the Baptist.

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