Today we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
Here's what you need to know...
Despite their being past child-bearing years, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and announced that he and his wife Elizabeth would give birth to a child, and that they should name him John.
Zechariah did not believe the message of Gabriel, and was consequently rendered unable to speak until John's birth.
At the Annunciation when Gabriel appeared to Mary to inform her that she would give birth to Jesus, he also informed her that Elizabeth (her cousin) was already six months pregnant. Mary went to visit Elizabeth right away.
In Luke's Gospel the baby John "leapt" in Elizabeth's womb at the greeting of Mary and the presence of Jesus in her womb.
St. John the Baptist began his ministry nearly thirty years later. He called people to repent and be baptized. He was the forerunner that helped prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
St. John the Baptist, ora pro nobis!
Happy Feast Day, everyone!