Thursday, September 11, 2008

Orthodox Christendom marks the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

On September 11, Orthodox Christendom celebrated the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, the prophet and forerunner of Jesus Christ who was sent by the Lord to pave the way for the arrival of his Son.

According to the Gospel, King Herod Antipas jailed Saint John for condemning his marriage to Herodias, his bother Philip’s wife. Although Herod himself John's authority and the significance of his following, and therefore did not intend to do John further harm, Herod's bloodthirsty wife had other ideas, and persuaded her daughter Salome to trick Herod. At a party for Herod, Salome danced so beautifully that a drunken Herod offered her anything she wanted as a reward. She asked for John's head on a silver platter, so John was beheaded.

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