by Fr Richard Heilman | June 20, 2020 10:36 AM
Saint John’s Eve – starting at sunset on June 23 – is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:26–37, 56-57) states that John was born six months before Jesus; therefore, the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on June 24, six months before Christmas.
Within Christian theology, this carries significance as John the Baptist “was understood to be preparing the way for Jesus”, with John 3:30 stating, “He must increase, but I must decrease”; this is symbolized in the fact that the “sun begins to diminish at the summer solstice and eventually increases at the winter solstice.
The Christian holy day is fixed at June 24; but in most countries, festivities are mostly held the night before, on Saint John’s Eve. This holiday is celebrated in many places.
Fire is the most typical element associated with the Saint John’s Eve celebration. In many countries, bonfires are lit on the evening of June 23. In Bavaria, witches are burned! The bonfires were lit to fend off witches. Atop each bonfire often an effigy of a witch is placed, harking back to the days of witch trials.
Here is the classic “She’s a witch!” scene (below) from the movie, “Monte Python and the Holy Grail.” It’s not that farfetched to draw a parallel between the kind of frenzy we see in the mob in this movie and what we see in today’s angry mob known as the “cancel culture.” A demonic spirit of evil has erupted in our nation, and it is manifesting as rage and division.
Doug Barry writes:
“There is a spoken and unspoken pressure being put on us to kneel before the mob’s agenda to divide and destroy this country. They want us to kneel both figuratively and literally. Our loyalty is being tested, as is our resolve! Two of the most intimidating tactics used are fear and guilt. Now is not the time to buckle under this pressure. THIS IS the time to speak loud and clear that before God alone will we kneel.”
I don’t believe I am alone, at all, in my shock and disgust with the volcanic eruption of evil that has sought to take control of our country. While I can grant some latitude to our leadership who, during the initial violent eruption of evil, did a bit of “duck and cover,” the time is NOW to rise up and take back our country!!
To counter these demonic spirits of rage and division, we must mount a force of peaceful resolve and unity. It’s time to stop tearing each other apart, and “circle the wagons” (unite in defense of a common interest).
In many respects, this is looking like the era around the Battle of Lepanto. Christianity had grown very weak at that time too, and the enemy felt this was “their time” to deal the last blow. Pope St. Pius V called upon Don John of Austria, who went about gathering the “remnant forces” to stand against the evil force looking to “take out” Christianity. It’s time we do the same. And, just as it was then, it will be now, the ROSARY will be the weapon we wield to defeat these demonic forces.
To that end, my first impulse is to call upon the “Catholic influencers” of our times to unite and formulate a counter-offensive to this eruption of evil in our times.
I share my birthday with John the Baptist’s birthday, on June 24. In fact, my Coat of Arms contains the “Agnus Dei” image of St. John the Baptist, along with the Latin for “He must increase, I must decrease.”
I am declaring St. John’s Eve as the day we emerge from our “Duck and Cover” foxholes, and begin to mount our counter-offensive.
This is why my first move will be to “circle the wagons” in my territory. I am inviting all men of faith to gather on my lawn for a manly barbecue on St. John’s Eve. We have had many of these gatherings here, in the past. We call them “Pipes and Pints,” because some of the men enjoy a pipe or a good cigar, and most of the men enjoy a frosty brew.
I felt compelled to do this now because the demonic spirits of rage and division could, if we are not on high alert, infiltrate this area. We must all take decisive steps to remain strong in faith and solidified in our fraternity.
What will be unique about this gathering is that we will gather around a fire pit on my lawn, and I have acquired 20 “witch dolls” for burning (see feature image in this article). In this case, each witch will represent a common sin or weakness or, better yet, an obstacle to the free flow of supernatural grace in men’s lives.
WE’RE TAKING A STAND!! We’re shedding the “old man” and putting on the “new man” for the fight! YES!! HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE!!
If any man wants to join us, please email me at [email protected]. So I know how much meat to get.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 23 @ 6:00pm
WHERE: My rectory, 3673 County Road P, Cross Plains, WI, 53528
WHAT TO BRING: Beverage (adult beverage is acceptable). Also, a couple of other things may be helpful – Side dish, lawn chair (I have many, but not enough).
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