St. John, Our Patron

The full name of our community is The Parish of St John the Forerunner. In Western Christianity, St John is known as John the Baptist, but, in Holy Orthodoxy, he’s referred to as The Forerunner because he is the prophet who goes before Christ Jesus, preparing the way for the Kingdom of God. You can read about St John in all four of the Holy Gospels. Because he prays for us and protects our parish, we honor him at each Sunday morning service with a special hymn:

O Prophet and Forerunner of Christ God’s coming to us, all we who with longing now extol thee are at a loss to honor thee worthily. For thy mother’s barrenness and thy father’s long silence, by thine all-renowned and hallowed birth were ended, and the Incarnation of the Son of God is preached unto all the world.

Our Parish Feast Day is June 24th. On that day, we celebrate the birth of St John; you can read about that event in the first chapter of St Luke’s Gospel. One of the icons in our church depicts that event, and that same icon contains two smaller images of feasts which also involve St John. One of those feasts is called Theophany; it is celebrated on January 6th, and it commemorates the day when St John baptized Christ Jesus. You can read about that event in the third chapter of St Matthew’s Gospel. The other feast is called The Beheading of the Forerunner; it occurs on August 29th, and, on that day, we remember the death of St John. You can read about that event in the sixth chapter of St Mark’s Gospel.

Our parish community is named for St John, and so he has a special place in our lives, but he’s also extremely important to all Orthodox Christians. In fact, his icon is displayed in every Orthodox church, and he’s always mentioned in the dismissal for the main Sunday morning service.