Our Catholic religion introduced us to saints. We grew up praying to them too and asking for their intercessions. Some say why go through the saints when you can communicate directly to God.
I am one person who maintains a personal relationship with saints. I know more than 100 saints by name but know nothing about their lives and how they became saints. There are a few that I am familiar with and one of those is Saint John the Baptist.
Today August 29 is his feast and I am sure most of you know his name and know that he was the disciple who baptized Jesus Christ.
Jesus was crucified, whipped, stabbed, and died on the cross. John died because he was beheaded. His fate was something we never heard from our religious class.
I will tell you what happened to him.
John was an open critic of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Herod divorced his own wife and took his own niece Herodias. John denounced what Herod did. John said it was wrong and unlawful for Herod to take Herodias because she’s his niece and the wife of Herod’s half brother Philip. Herod threw John to prison. Herod was afraid of John’s disciples and he knew that John was a righteous man so he didn’t kill him but Herodias was determined to have John killed.
One day, Herod had a grand banquet attended by his courtiers, and the leading men of Galilee in celebration of his own birthday.
Salome, the daughter of Herodias, danced and Herod was so pleased he declared “I shall give you whatever you ask me, even half of my kingdom.” Salome asked her mother what should,she ask from Herod. “The head of John the Baptist” Herodias replied.
Herod couldn’t do anything but to grant the request because he vowed in the presence of all his guests. He was deeply sorry but he had no choice. A soldier was sent to John’ prison to,kill.him. His head was placed on a platter, presented it
to Salome, who gave it to her mother Herodias.
When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.