Today we celebrate one of the feasts of our patron saint. After solemnized on June 24th the joyous birth of John the Baptist, today the Church honors his glorious birth into heaven. In a sense, we as Knights commemorate this day each morning when we recite the Knights of St. John Prayer.
In thy strength, O Lord, the just man shall exult, and in Thy salvation, he shall rejoice exceedingly. Though hast has given him his heart’s desire. We beseech Thee, O Lord, that every thought, word, and action which we offer in the memory of the sufferings of Thy Holy Martyr, Saint John the Baptist, may by his intercession profit us unto salvation, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.
Many aspects of our daily prayer come from portions of the Traditional Latin Mass from this day.
In virtute tua, Domine laetabitur justus, et super salutare tuum exsultabit vehementer : desiderium animae ejus tribuistis ei.
In Thy strength, O Lord, the just man shall exult, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thous hast given him his heart’s desire.
Munera, quae tibi, Domine, pro sancti Martyris tui Joannis Baptistae passione deferimus : quaesumus ; ut ejus obtentu nobis proficiant ad salutem. Per Dominum.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the offerings which in memory of the passion of Thy holy martyr Saint John the Baptist, we bring before Thee, may, through his prayers, profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord.
Why in the world do we celebrate such a gruesome martyrdom? John wasn’t necessarily beheaded because he was the final prophet, connecting the Old and New Testaments. The Beheading of John the Baptist was done at the request of Herodias.
John knew that he needed to decrease so that Christ could increase. That should be the mantra that we as Knights take in our daily lives. Certainly, we take a very prominent role in the liturgies that we are a part of. But we should do so with the humility that we are there not for ourselves, but for Him. Today John completed his mission, and he charges us to carry it on. To be the voice crying out in the desert, preparing the way of the Lord. While John the Baptist was preparing the early church for the coming of the Messiah; we are to help prepare the world for His second coming.