Lauding the Leading Luminary

Icon of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist, lovingly embellished with vines of periwinkle, and bathed in yestereve’s Gladsome Light.

Today is the Nativity… the Birthday – of St. John the Baptist!

St. John the Baptist is called the voice of the Word, the Lampstand of the Light, the morning star and Forerunner of the Sun of Righteousness. He is the personification of faithfulness to God, righteousness, and asceticism. He is so revered, that each Tuesday, every week of the year is also dedicated to him and there are also other days of the year which, since ancient times, have been devoted to St. John the Baptist!

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. ~ St. John 1:6-9

Christ Himself said: Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ~ St. Matthew 11:11

As we’re still in the Apostle’s Fast, there’s a lovely plant-based Chocolate “Locust” Cake recipe I’d like to share below, celebrating St. John the Baptist’s birthday, embracing some wilderness foods

John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. ~ St. Matthew 3:4

The Carob Tree is also known as the Locust Bean Tree, for its carob pods resemble the shape of locusts.

Plant-Based Chocolate “Locust” Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons of carob powder (OR, if you don’t have any carob powder, then use 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, instead)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil (IF using carob powder, increase the vegetable oil by 1 extra teaspoon)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups water

Combine wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix for 1 minute on low and then 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into a greased 9 X 9-inch pan, bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees F oven for 45 minutes. Let cool 12 minutes, remove from pan and serve with honey on the side, or drizzled on your cake slice!

Serves 8-ish… Heavy on the “ish”. 😉

Congratulations on your Saint’s Day, Archpriest John, John P, and John M! May God grant you all many years!

Through the holy prayers of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of Christ, may we, too, join ranks with all who since times long past, have lauded and continue to praise this amazing, Leading Luminary.

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