Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Saint John the Baptist

Jahans, Jehan, Jehans Baptistres, John the Forerunner

According to the New Testament, John the Baptist was born to elderly parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were devout Jews. His birth was foretold by the angel Gabriel, who appeard to Zechariah while he was serving as a priest in the temple. John’s birth was miraculous as Elizabeth was previously barren.

John spent his early years in the wilderness and grew up as an ascetic, practicing strict self-discipline and a life of prayer and fasting. He emerged as a powerful preacher, calling people to repentance and preparing them for the coming of Messiah.

John is particularly known for his baptismal ministry. He baptized people in the Jordan River as a symbol of their repentance and readiness to receive the Messiah. This practice gave him the title “the Baptist.” It was during one of these baptisms that he baptized Jesus, an event described in the Gospels as the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

Saint John fearlessly spoke out against injustice, including critizing the immoral conduct of King Herod Antipas. King Herod, influenced by his wife Herodias, ordered John to be beheaded, fulfilling a request made by Herodias’ daughter during a banquet.

The sword used in this decapitation is identified with the Grail Sword in Perlesvaus.