Last night was the Vigil of the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist – St. John’s Eve. A traditional and lovely Catholic tradition for the occasion is to have a bonfire – and to have a priest bless it. Here is the prayer:
O Lord God, almighty Father, unfailing light and source of all light: sanctify + this new fire, and grant that, after the darkness of this life, we may come unsullied to you who are light eternal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The history of this tradition is quite interesting — read some more HERE.
Hopefully, someday, I’ll have to make the rounds on June 23 to bless multiple fires for my parishioners. For now — just one!
This is one of the many beautiful Catholic traditions that make life interesting and sanctify the cycle of seasons. We need to recover a sense of liturgical living that extends beyond Sunday Mass. This is also a great way to evangelize the neighborhood — who doesn’t like to go roast hot dogs and marshmallows? What if the priest happened to show up and say a prayer!? So many of our Catholic traditions and devotions are wonderful means for drawing others to the faith.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!