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Nativity of St. John the Baptist

June 24

Epistle  •  Isaias 49:1-3, 5, 6, 7

Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.

[St. John was called from his mother’s womb to bring all men to salvation.]

Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye people from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother He hath been mindful of my name. And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow; in His quiver He hath hidden me.

And He said to me: Thou art My servant Israel, for in thee will I glory. And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant: Behold I have given thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Kings shall see and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord’s sake, and for the Holy One of Israel, Who hath chosen thee.

Gospel  •  Luke 1:57-68

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.  

[The birth of St. John the Baptist.]

Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed His great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcize the child, and they called him by his father’s name, Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by that name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

And demanding a writing-tablet, he wrote, saying: John is his name: and they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed; and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came upon all their neighbors; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea; and they that had heard them, laid them up in their heart, saying: What a one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he prophesied, saying: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He hath visited, and wrought the redemption of His people.