|Domenico Ghirlandaio - Birth of John the Baptist|
Today the church commemorates the birth of John the Baptist. Along with the birth of Jesus on December 25th and the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8th, his is the only birth that is remembered with a special feast day. We also remember the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River, which is celebrated at the end of the Christmas season, as well as John’s martyrdom on August 29 every year. But today we honor his mysterious birth, since his mother Elizabeth was very advanced in age, and her pregnancy was a miracle in itself. John and Jesus met when their mothers were still pregnant with them, when Mary visited Elizabeth, and they probably grew up together, as most paintings show them playing, at least as toddlers.