Feast of St John the Baptist
On this day over 2 millennia ago the Patron Saint of our Order was born in Palestine.
St John the Baptist always preached the coming of the anointed one and lived a life of sacrifice and penitence. He spent much of his life retreated in the dessert to pray and fasting.
The story of St. John the Baptist begins in the days of Herod, king of Judea. The time was before the birth of Jesus, His father was Zachary an old priest, He was visited by an angel and told him that God would send him a son and shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his
But Zachary was old and his wife was old and it was uncommon for folks as old as they to start having babies; so he asked: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”
Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God and behold, thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak until the day when these things come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” And when Zachary came out of the
temple and faced the wondering crowd outside, he made signs to them as best he could and they saw that he was dumb.
Elizabeth brought forth her son to the delight of her family and neighbors, and announced on the day of his circumcision that he would be called John. Her friends and relatives protested as no one in the family was named John. Zachary asked for a writing tablet, on it he wrote the words John is his name and immediately was able to speak.
To commemorate the birth of this important saint and the birth of our Order, founded during the First Crusade by the Blessed Gerard. Our knights and Dames will attend a Solemn Mass followed by a reception afterwards today at 6.00pm at the Ursuline Monastery in Valletta.
This Solemn Mass commemorates and remembers all our predecessors, who not only lived according to the Order rules but also gave their life for the Order. At the monastery one can also see the reliquary of the blessed Gerald.
The Grand Priory of Malta
Sovereign Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta