The Nativity of John the Baptist: from Ivan to John

7 July is celebrated the Nativity of John the Baptist. The establishment of the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist fell on the day of the celebration of Ivan Kupala. But let’s learn this story from the beginning!

The Nativity Of John The Baptist

The Nativity of St. John, Prophet, forerunner and Baptist of our Lord Jesus Christ was foreshadowed by the Prophet Isaiah for another 700 years before the event itself: “a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (ISA. 40, 3), and glorified the Lord Himself, Who called John by the Angel, and said that among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist (Matt. 11, 10-11).

The events themselves this Christmas, as prior and subsequent, cause the heart to freeze in fear and awe vohimena. Be grasped by the mind, and especially to build some kind of logical chain in the sequence of the gospel narrative this event is impossible, and therefore newusersonly feels embarrassed skeptical atheist waves his hand, adding his standard epithet: “it’s a fairy Tale,” and the believer…

Believer just baptized the forehead, but a prayer, what heart says. After all, for him – “thou art God, who wonders” is quite natural and vital.

Not be affected the same incident so long ago, but not lost modern (well here more capacious, the Ukrainian definition of “modern”) values are impossible. It’s not only the awesomeness of the birth of aged parents, but also the whole spectrum of doubts and questions, so characteristic of the man of the present time, when manifestations of God’s Providence. After all, we know that the priest Zechariah was righteous, and at the same time when he announced to Archangel Gabriel, is born from him the Baptist, Zacharias didn’t believe. Not believe, though was full of faith in God.

Until the birth of John the Baptist, his father is punished with dumbness. The righteous shall be punished! Although close amazing deliverance from punishment, makes you wonder if the righteous are punished by the Lord, how he me, beloved suffers? Here it becomes clear gospel exclamation: Lord, I believe. help my unbelief (MK.9:24).

Faith is strengthened by examples of those who, having it, reached the green pastures of Heaven, and here John the Baptist, whom the Lord Himself was called an Angel, is the ideal of righteousness in the body of a human, a bearer of angelic spirit, purity and perfection.
The desert became for him a school of piety, and even there he was great.
In the wilderness the Baptist ate only locusts and wild honey, dressed only in clothes made of camel’s hair, girded with a leather belt, preparing himself for his high Ministry. It was he, John, is the beginning of beginnings of monasticism.

His words were so strong that it shook many people to the core. It originates missionary; Apostolic message.

The Baptist fearlessly turned his fiery speech against such a proud and haughty demeanour of the Pharisees and Sadducees, calling them offspring of vipers. The mouth of the righteous is not closed till the Martyr’s death. Here is the source of “faith to the blood”, that is martyrdom for the confession of Christ.

The tradition to celebrate St. John the Baptist in the days of his birth and martyrdom happened in the first Christian communities. Since the III century the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist already was widely celebrated by both Eastern and Western Christians – it was called “triumph of light” and “Lucifer sun of righteousness”. At the beginning of IV century, the holiday was introduced in the Christian calendar.

The Lord is wondrous in his saints. We know it

John The Baptist

Know and other that does not tolerate the wicked, in word and deed, thought and life, not sparing the stomach in all circumstances, remain faithful to Christ and for centuries to nourish others with the truth of the Truth.

The great evil is not subject, but to embarrass, scare and make confusion, confusion and doubt he can. Moreover, that was a lot of practice cases such as in the old Testament and in our times.

Struggle against polytheism, the basic rate “the enemy of this world” – until the last, and that this battle through our cities, villages and soul takes place, no doubt.

Christianity arrived in pagan Rus’, and although the beliefs of the Slavs it is impossible to compare with the paganism of the Nations of Western Europe or the East because of his humanity and a kind of “humanity”, however, polytheism, sacrifice, and idols were, as they say, the place to be.

The Christian idea of a “merciful God”, helping and compassionate, accepted by our ancestors almost immediately, but we cannot say that Dazhbog, Perun and other gods, is reset equal to the apostles Vladimir, in the Dnieper, crossed the rapids of the Russian Jordan, and our souls.

Pagan traditions is not a word destruct, and in the Orthodox Christian experience was not made to mow it down. Some folk traditions were just filled with new semantic content, and they themselves gradually come into line with Christian norms.

Read also – the finding of the head of John the Baptist: a hint of bitterness among common sweets

So it was with the establishment of the feast of the Baptist of the Lord John

It was necessary to get rid of the people the pagan tradition associated with the licentiousness of morals, divination and worship of elements of nature. Focused all of these, from time immemorial came, pre-Christian superstitions, beliefs and prejudices at the end of June during the summer solstice, when the great luminary of day, by achieving the highest manifestation of his forces, making the first corner for the winter. On this day our pagan ancestors and celebrated Ivan Kupala, and the night from the 23rd to the 24th was for them the most mystical of the year.

“Concentration” it was diverse, colorful and diverse, and not surprising, because Midsummer was in the first row of the pagan gods and was the God of fruits of the earth, or third, or fifth in importance after Perun.

Here he writes about the pagan Kupala Russian historian Kaisarov: “Russian deity, whose statue stood in Kiev. Kupalo was the God of the fruit, he ranked as the noblest of gods. At the beginning of the harvest he was sacrificed. Then, on the fields lit large fires: young men and maidens, crowned with flowers, danced around the fire with joyful singing: finally they leaped and drove his herd through the fire. These good people thought that he will protect them from the devils”.

Kaisarov, a modest historian, more wicked “customs” practiced in reality in this day and night, down and grabbed them, starting from the search for Mr right-costumed, fortune-telling, skinny dipping, fire of purification, the burning of the clothes the sick children to the overt sexual immorality and sacrifices…

The establishment of the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist on this day (although the time interval between the Nativity of the forerunner and the Savior it meets gospel narrative) were able to store a good crop, removing the weeds pagan. And the feast was adopted by our people, although the ancient beliefs died out quite a long time.

Thus, in “Stoglav” (collection of the decisions of the Stoglavy Cathedral in 1551) tells of the Midsummer festivities, that during these “necii, fire fuse, predstavqaju by a certain ancient custom”; that “against the feast of the Nativity of the Great John the Baptist and in the night to the day, and all day until the night husbands and wives and children in Domeh and the streets and walking and water, gloomy doing all sorts of games and all sorts of scarsity and satanic songs and dances, gusli and other many kinds of stingy and education. And when thou walks by the night, then go to the grove with a great scream, like Besni, washed by the water”.

But already in the early XX century, a prominent researcher of the history of traditions and customs A. A. Corinthian (1868-1937) writes in his “people’s Russia”: “In the Slavic world, all nationalities, still the Midsummer festival is not quite lost its original meaning, despite centuries-old Christianity. From folk faith they moved in the circle of vulgar superstitions, rituals, in customs, in most cases, serving as a pastime for rural youth, quite unconsciously raise in their merrymaking Pataskala images, irretrievably sunk into the river of forgetfulness. In the old days, when it was still fresh in the memory of the pagan past of Slavic-Russian Church waged a bitter struggle with these practices and games. At the present time only in the writings left by the inquisitive explorers of old in the heritage of the future Genesis of mankind, and one can find more or less clear idea of any particular contemporary vernacular beliefs with their faith.”

Not less peaceful and the author of “Handbook for the priest” by S. Bulgakov. In his comments on June 24, we read: “Under the name Kupala our ancestors worshipped the beneficent for the plant the power of water and the animal warmth of the sun and believed that this hidden and bathed in the water, and fire, and grass. In Christian times our ancestors, in their immaturity, mixing the pagan with the Christian, joined the feast Kupala to the feast of St John the Baptist, the forerunner of the dove of St. the nickname of Ivan Kupala. In some places describes the superstitions exist at the present time, and to eradicate these superstitions derogatory to Christians and offensive to the memory of John the Baptist, to strengthen the pastoral impact on the residents of these areas.”

Read also – the finding of the head of John the Baptist (QUIZ)

But absurdity is the assertion alleged dvoeverie – the simultaneous confession of Christianity and paganism. From ancient pagan rites, our people have retained only the music, song and dance element, dance, songs, games. Executable rites are not of a pronounced religious character. This is just a continuation of people’s aesthetic tradition. The names of most of the pagan gods forgotten, and the rest of Kupalo, Lada, and Yarilo – perceived by most as characters.

And remember ought to the Orthodox that the continuing efforts of the evil one to give a different meaning to the day can blasphemous to insult someone who once shook the hearts of men by the preaching of Repentance and his fiery call predostavil the way to God Himself.

St. John’s prophecy, the Baptist of the Lord, pray for us!


See also:

  • The beheading of St. John the Baptist: To the hostages of hell will come and help you (+Video)
  • The Head Of John The Baptist

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