The Nativity of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ
On July 7, the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery celebrated the feast of Nativity of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ. The services were held at the Trinity, Transfiguration and Annunciation Cathedrals.
The upper left altar of the Trinity Cathedral was consecrated to the Third Finding of the head of the saint. Overall, there are seven feast days in a church year dedicated to St. John’s memory. This year, this particular feast fell on a Sunday, so two services, the Liturgy and the service to the Nativity of Saint John the Forerunner, were served together.
The Lord Himself spoke about Saint John: “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Mat. 11:11). He was a special kind of a man chosen by God. According to St. Luke the Evangelist, St. John, while still in the womb of his mother, was purified by the Holy Spirit and prepared for his great service to the Savior Who was to come to this world. Saint John the Forerunner’s prophetic ministry was meant to prepare the way of the Lord. His mission was to warm up the hearts of men so that they could receive the Word of God and accept Christ’s teaching. Whoever heard St. John’s voice, and in recognition of their repentance, were baptized in the waters of the River Jordan.
The Typikon marks the feast of the Forerunner’s Nativity as a great holiday equal to the major twelve feasts. Its Afterfeast is celebrated on July 8.