San Juan Bautista
San Juan Bautista
5BC – 30-36 AD
John baptizing Christ, by Guido Reni
Christians believe John the Baptist was the prophet who would “prepare the way for the Lord”
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. — Malachi 3:1
John the Baptist confirmed that Jesus was the son of God and baptized him in the River Jordon, marking the new road to salvation.
King Harod imprisoned John for denouncing his incestuous marriage. At his daughter’s request (and his wife’s persuasion) Harod presented John’s head on a silver platter as a gift to his daughter.
Today only Christ and the Virgin Mary and John’s births are celebrated in the Christian calendar.
There are many towns in Mexico named after the Saint including
San Juan Bautista, Coahuila
San Juan Bautista, Guerrero
a mission founded 1699/1700 near Guerrero, Coahuila
San Juan Bautista, Nayarit
San Juan Bautista de la Villahermosa, Tabasco
Misión San Juan Bautista Malibat, Baja California Sur
Visita de San Juan Bautista Londó, Baja California Sur
any of several other Spanish missions in Mexico
San Juan Bautista Atatlahuca, Etla, Valles Centrales, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca, Mixteca, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Cuicatlan, Cuicatlan, Cañada, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Guelache, Etla, Valles Centrales, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Jayacatlán, Etla, Valles Centrales, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista lo de Soto, Jamiltepec, Costa, Oaxaca.
San Juan Bautista Suchitepec, Huajuapan, Mixteca, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Tlacoatzintepec, Cuicatlan, Cañada, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Tlachichilco, Silacayoapam, Mixteca, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, Oaxaca
San Juan Bautista Valle Nacional, Tuxtepec, Papaloapan, Oaxaca
Appropriately enough, San Juan Baptist Day is celebrated at the beginning of the rainy season as he is most remembered for the baptism of Christ. Other traditions in Mexico connected with the feast of San Juan include watering plants or trees with spring water just before dawn believing this will produce exceptionally good harvests. Bathing in waters of streams or rivers on the day of San Juan is particularly beneficial to one’s health and well-being.
San Juan Bautista is often celebrated with pilgrimages to the local church, parades, floats, mariachi bands. Often girls are dressed in first communion dresses – boys in muslin suits. Many communities will have fairs. Often community and family traditions include water; throwing water balloons, shooting water guns, dunking each other with buckets of water.