In the Holy Land, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was celebrated in the shrines where the Precursor of Jesus was born and lived, during the years that preceded the beginning of his public life.
John the Baptist lived in this land of Judea: he who led an austere life, lived in caves and fed on locusts. As, indeed, foretold by the prophet Isaiah: the forerunner of the Messiah would come from the desert.
The day before the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, in the place where today the Franciscan monastery of “Saint John of the Desert” stands, the Solemn Vespers were celebrated. For the occasion, the Franciscans and religious came on pilgrimage to the cave where, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist spent part of his life before his mission began.
The chapel, located in an isolated place, is surrounded by silence, preserving beauty and a special peace, typical of this area.
Son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin. He was the last of the prophets: he announced the coming of Christ and preached the conversion of sins.