Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ

Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ

Saint John the Forerunner is, without a doubt, the most beloved and most venerated saint among the orthodox of all times, and rightly so! He is the bridge connecting the Old Testament with the New.

Did you know that he was the saint with most churches dedicated to him in Constantinople? If you've happen to know any Greeks then you may have heard the saying: «σπίτι χωρίς Γιάννη προκοπή δεν κάνει», which losely translates into English more or less like this: “A home without a John cannot hold on!” - (Of course we too have a John :-)) 

Book #21 in our popular "Paterikon for Kids" series is dedicated to this amazing Saint.
Read the book together with your children tonight and help them remember the most important facts from Saint John the Forerunner’s life. 
The text is easy to follow. Below you will find a short lesson plan for younger and older children, as well as a free coloring page and different activities that you can print out.

Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ, intercede for us!

Apolytikion:
The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since thou was granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didn’t rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.
 
Lesson plan for younger children:
1. What was the name of the saint? (Saint John)
2. Were his parents old or young? (old)
3. Where did his mother take him when King Herod’s soldiers pursued them? (to the desert)
4. What did he eat in the desert? (locusts and honey from wild bees)
5. What did he do when he grew up? ( he preached to crowds about Christ)
6. Whom did Saint John baptize in Jordan River? (Christ) When do we celebrate the Feast of Christ’s Baptism - in Winter or in Summer? What’s the name of this feast? (Theophany)
Get a free coloring page here.

Lesson plan for a bit older children:
1. What other names does Saint John have? (Forerunner and Baptist)
2. What were the names of Saint John’s parents?(Elisabeth and Zachariah)
3. Why did Saint John’s father Zachariah loose the ability to speak? (because he doubted the Angel of the Lord who told him that he will become a father at such an old age)
4. Why did King Herod want to kill all the male babies in Bethlehem? (He was afraid that one of these babies would become a king one day)
5. How did Saint John survive in the desert all by himself? (Angels took care of him) What did he eat? (locusts and wild honey)  
6. What did he started doing when he grew up? (preaching to the crowds about the coming of Christ)
7. What happened when Christ asked Saint John to baptize Him? (at first he felt unworthy to baptize the Son of God, but then did baptize Him)
8. How was the Holy Trinity revealed during Christ’s baptism in Jordan River?
Bonus/optional: Speak about Saint John the Baptist’s and Christ’s family relations / the Feast of Theophany / the Mystery of Baptism 
Get a free booklet about Saint John the Forerunner here.

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