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August 29

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Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. After completing his mission as Precursor of the Messiah, he was killed by Herod.

Mass Readings
Featured Saints of the day
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Mass Readings

First Reading – 1 Cor 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102 (R.97)

R. Lord, I love your commands.
How I love your law, O LORD!
It is my meditation all the day. R.

Your command has made me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me. R.

I have more understanding than all my teachers
when your decrees are my meditation.

I have more discernment than the elders,
because I observe your precepts. R.

From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words. R.

From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me. R.

Gospel – Mk 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Featured Saints

St. Sebbe, king and monk (†c. 693). Sovereign of the Eastern Saxons, he abdicated after wisely governing the kingdom for thirty years and became a monk in London.

Blessed Sancja Szymkowiak, virgin (†1942). Religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Sorrows; she was dedicated to aiding prisoners of war in Poznań, Poland.  

Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, religious (†1844). Founded the Congregation of Christian Brothers, as well as the Presentation Brothers in Waterford, Ireland.

Blessed Bronislava, virgin (†1259). Religious from the Premonstratensian Monastery of Krakow, Poland. When it was destroyed by Tartars, she lived a humble and secluded life in a nearby hut.

St. Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, virgin (†1952). Religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, of the Syro-Malabar Rite, she died in the convent of Ollur in Kerala, India.

St. Mary of the Cross Jugan, virgin (†1879). Founded the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Saint-Servan-surMer, France. Unjustly removed from governance, she spent the rest of her life in prayer and humility.

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