John the Baptist

John the Baptizer was the forerunner of Jesus the Messiah, preaching a gospel of repentance and preparing the way of the Lord

John was born to an elderly couple; his father, Zechariah, was a priest, and his mother, Elizabeth, was a kinswoman of Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1). John lived in the wilderness of Judea. He wore camel’s hair and a leather belt, which was similar to the garb worn by the Prophet Elijah. John baptized many in the water of the Jordan River, pointing to Jesus the Messiah as the one who would baptize with fire. When Herod Antipas married his sister-in-law Herodias, John condemned the action. Herod arrested John and later had him beheaded.

The Preaching of St. John the Baptist by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1566