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BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

This holiday has been celebrated since ancient times, and there are testimonies from the 5th century, in the sermons of Peter Chrysologus, presbyter Chrysippus. The day is spent in strict abstinence and fasting. Do not eat or drink anything that is red, because it reminds of the spilled blood of John. Saint John the Baptist and forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ, with his death preceded the voluntary death of our Savior. This saint died during the time of Emperor Antipas, the son of the old Emperor Herod, the murderer of the children of Bethlehem, because of his preaching in Galilee. Saint John condemned this emperor because he drove away his lawful wife, the daughter of an Arab emperor, killed his brother Philip and took his wife. Having done all that, the saint could not bear it and disfigured him in front of everyone. The disgraced king was afraid, and threw him into prison, but they did not dare to execute him, because many considered him a great prophet. The brother’s wife, Herodias, who did all that, was afraid of the prophetic words and persuaded her daughter, Solomia, to request the saint’s head from Emperor Herod as a gift. And not being able to refuse, Herod, enchanted by her beauty and ravishing dance, did what was asked of him and executed John, and brought his head to the guests present. Fearing him dead, Herodias did not allow his head to be put together with the body, but was buried separately from the body. After that, all the perpetrators of this heinous crime ended tragically. The death of John the Baptist happened before the Passover (Jewish holiday), and it is celebrated on September 11, and on that date a celebration was established due to the fact that the church was built and consecrated, which was erected over his relics by Emperor Constantine and Empress Jelena in honor and gratitude to this pleasant person God’s. In Herzegovina, on this day of fasting, they do not do heavy work and especially take care not to do anything with seeds, they even pay attention to which day the cutting fell, so if it is Monday, for example, then every Monday of the year they avoid dealing with seeds . In some villages, they agree to start plowing on the day after St. John’s day and determine who should start first. In Šumadija they fast, do not do hard work and think that this is a good day to harvest medicinal herbs. On that day, children are not allowed to eat tomatoes, peaches, apples and anything else red in color. Only women work around the seeds, leave them for the next year and prepare the winter storage. Orthodox people fast on this day, and many of them do not eat anything until dark.

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