Christians have long interpreted the life of John the Baptist as a preparation for the coming of Christ, and the circumstances of his birth, as recorded in the New Testament, are miraculous. John's pivotal place in the gospel is seen in the emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus.
The sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke. John’s parents, Zechariah, a Jewish priest and Elizebeth, were without children and both were beyond the age of child-bearing. During Zechariah's rotation to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem, he was chosen by lot to offer incense at the Altar in the most holy of Hollies. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and announced that he and his wife would give birth to a child, and that they should name him John. However, because
Zechariah did not believe the message of Gabriel, he was rendered speechless until the time of John's birth;at that time, his relatives wanted to name the child after his father, and Zechariah wrote, "His name is John" and could speak (Luke 1:5-25; 1:57-66). Following Zechariah's obedience to the command of God, he was given the gift of prophecy
The Nativity of St John the Baptist on June 24 The purpose of these festivals is not to celebrate the exact dates of these events, but simply to commemorate them in an interlinking way. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist anticipates the feast of Christmas.
The Nativity of St John the Baptist is one of the oldest festivals of the Christian church, being listed by the Council of Agde in 506 as one of that region's principal festivals, where it was a day of rest and, like Christmas, was celebrated with three Masses: a vigil, at dawn, and at midday.
adapted from Wikipedia