Ever since I was born, June 24 means another day in the Roman calendar in which our dining table is once again overflowing with good food. Our barrio in Malolos City does not really differ from San Juan City in Metro Manila, we’re as festive and probably even rowdier. Well, that’s how we celebrate to thank God for the bountiful blessings we have received, are receiving, and will be receiving from Him.
Quick fact: There are only two people in the Christian Catholic tradition whose feasts are celebrated on their birthdays. The rest are remembered on the day of their deaths. Those two people are Jesus’ mother, Mama Mary (of course) and His cousin, St. John the Baptist. Well, historical data may really be unable to exactly pinpoint that St. John the Baptist was born on the 24th of June, but at least the Church has made the effort to emphasize that this date is his birthday and not the day he was mercilessly beheaded by King Herod (on Salome’s orders).
If St. Joseph is the unspoken hero of Christmas in the Christian Bible, St. John the Baptist is the ever active martyr who never faltered in his faith and mission. He truly prepared for Jesus’ Nativity so that the Son of Man who is to lead a harsh life can at least walk on smooth roads until He arrives at His final destination.
So when passing by any San Juan area, allow yourself to be drenched in water (or beer). In a way, St. John the Baptist will give you his intercession for today and until you remain steadfast in your faith and dreams. 😀