The biblical account portrays the beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Herod Antipas. According to the Synoptic Gospels, Herod had imprisoned John because he reproved Herod for divorcing his wife (Phasaelis), and unlawfully taking his brother Herod Philip I's wife, Herodias. On Herod's birthday, Herodias' daughter (traditionally named Salome) danced before the king and his guests. Her dancing pleased Herod so much that in his drunkenness he promised to give her anything she desired, up to half of his kingdom. When the daughter asked her mother what she should request, she was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although Herod was appalled by the request, he reluctantly agreed and had John executed in the prison.
Propers for the Martyrdom of The Forerunner
We pray thee, O Lord, that this solemn festival of John Baptist thy blessed Forerunner and Martyr: may effectually bestow upon us thy succour, to the attainment of everlasting salvation. In the name of Our Lord and Saviour, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
The Epistle - Jeremiah 1:17-19.
The Gospel - St. Mark 6:17-29.
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