St. John the Baptist and Forerunner
St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ (“He must increase, but I must decrease.”) was born of Zachariah and Elizabeth six months before our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Most Holy Theotokos, having conceived the Lord by the Holy Spirit, visited Elizabeth toward the end of her pregnancy with St. John, St. John leaped in the womb with joy at her and His approach.
He lived in the desert, eating locusts and honey, and baptized repentant Jews in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. And then the Lord Jesus came to be baptized by him, and he, of course, felt unworthy, but was encouraged by the Lord to proceed. He saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ and testified to it, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God Who comes to take away the sin of the world!”
After denouncing Herod for his illicit marriage, he was put in prison, and later, as a result of intrigue, beheaded. He was the last and greatest of the prophets.The Gospels tell this story far better. Be sure to read them.
He is counted as an intercessor for persons with epilepsy.
The Meaning of the Feasts of the Nativity and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist http://www.antiochian.org/node/19925 & http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/feasts/e_stjohn_behead_popovic.htm
icon from http://iconreader.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/icons-of-john-the-baptist-john-the-forerunner/