Nativity of St. John The Baptist
St. John the Baptist’s Birthday
Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11). Each year on June 24 the Catholic Church honors the birth of John by reflecting on his unique role as the precursor of Jesus. The solemnity held on that date praises John as a worthy example of what it means to be a follower of Christ.
A solemnity is the most significant feast the Church can establish. While other saints are remembered with feast days to remember their deaths, St. John the Baptist, like Our Lady, is honoured with solemnities to recall both his birth and his death.
he General Roman Calendar lists the celebration of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on June 24. It is a solemnity, the highest liturgical rank a day can have.
Normally this would mean that the feast would always be celebrated on June 24, even if it fell on a Sunday.
However, this year (2022), it falls on the same day as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is celebrated on the Friday following Trinity Sunday and falls on a different date each year.
According to the General Norms of the Liturgical Year, when two solemnities are competing for the same day, feasts of Our Lord are given precedence.
If several celebrations fall on the same day, the one that holds the highest rank according to the preceding Table of Liturgical Days is observed.
Additionally, when possible, a major feast is to be transferred to the closest day on the liturgical calendar.
[A] solemnity impeded by a liturgical day that takes precedence over it should be transferred to the closest day.
This year the closest day is June 23, and it makes theological sense that the feast of St. John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord, would precede the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray;
O God, who hast made this day to be honourable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.