St. Augustine
St. Fiacre

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

JohnThere are many, many paintings of St. John's beheading and even of his severed, bloody head. I chose one which avoids the gruesome imagery, sometimes painted as a tour de force by the artist to display his skills in depicting blood, horror or violence. I trust these images already reside in your imagination.

Instead, his sanctity and courage shine forth in this painting, even though his powerlessness in the face of vengeance, hatred and jealousy is also on full display.

The opening prayer of today's mass praises John as not only having preceded him as his herald but preceding him in death as well. St. John the Baptist, a martyr for truth and righteousness, pray for us.