7 June 2023 года

Patronal Feast of the Head of the Holy Forerunner and Baptist John

The northern upper side chapel of the Holy Trinity Cathedral at the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery has been dedicated to the Third Finding of the Head of the Forerunner and Baptist John. Today it is the monastery’s patronal feast. The memorable day was marked by the All-Night Vigil, the paraklesis with the water blessing prayer service and the early-morning Divine Liturgy.

The Lord’s Forerunner is depicted on the icons with the wings behind his back as the symbol of his angelic life. He stayed in the desert, wore camel skins, and found nourishment by eating acrids and wild honey. He led the life of an ascetic, akin to a monk. The Holy Church considers him the spiritual patron and forerunner of all monastics.

According to the ancient ecclesiastical understanding, a monk is equally a man and an angel. Anyone who set out on the narrow path of salvation in the holy monasteries of God aspires for this lofty spiritual deed. Therefore, the memory of the Holy Prophet John and his example is so dear and edifying to the monastics that we beseech him: “The Baptist of Christ, the righteous Forerunner, the ultimate prophet, the first martyr, teacher of those who fast and dwell in the desert, the teacher of purity and a close friend of Christ! We pray and appeal to thee; do not turn away from being our intercessor; do not forsake those who were made corrupt by a great many sins; restore our souls with repentance, akin to the second baptism.”