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John the Baptist connected with Christ's birth, death, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - June 25, 2012

As the Church observed the feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that “John the Baptist is the only saint for whom the liturgy celebrates the day of birth.”

"This is because his birth is closely connected to the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God,” the Pope explained to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his midday audience.

The Pope also pointed out the prophecy of Zechariah, who said that his son would “be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.” That prophecy came true 30 years later, the Pope reminded his audience.

Still John’s mission was not complete, the Pope said. He “was asked to precede Jesus also in violent death.” Thus in life and in death he bore witness to the Lord.

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  • Posted by: ILM - Jun. 26, 2012 8:01 AM ET USA

    “And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”(Luke 1:15) Can sanctifying grace and original sin exist in the same place? Do we not celebrate John the Baptist’s birth because he was born without original sin (conceived with original sin, but born without). The only others born without original sin are Jesus and Mary whose birth’s we, also, celebrate.

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