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The Birth, Naming, and Circumcision of Saint John the Baptist by Giovanni Baronzio, c. 1335 [National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.]

By John M. Grondelski, The Catholic Thing, June 24, 2024

John Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views herein are exclusively his.

 

Such was the question Elizabeth’s and Zechariah’s relatives and friends asked the day of John the Baptist’s circumcision, recounted in the Gospel we read today on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  (We are exactly six months away from Christmas Eve).

The birth of John has been accompanied by unusual signs.  Elizabeth, whom everybody long ago deemed infertile and past childbearing age, was pregnant.  Zechariah, her husband, a priest of the Jerusalem Temple, had come back mute to their little Judean village. …

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