The Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Saint John the Baptist had prayed, I must decrease and He must increase. This is truly the only way to live as Jesus lived, to follow Jesus, to be His disciple. This, Saint John the Baptist did to the point of shedding his blood for the truth and refusing to be silent in the face of a crime. May Saint John the Baptist intercede for us so that we too would decrease so Jesus might increase in us.
17 For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.
18 For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
19 Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not.
20 For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.
21 And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee.
22 And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23 And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom.
24 Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist.
25 And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist.
26 And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her:
27 But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish.
28 And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29 Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.