On Monday, the 24th of June/7th of July 2014, the Birth of St John the Forerunner and Baptist was celebrated in his birthplace, the Hill Country of Judea (Luke 1, 39).
The feast was observed at the Monastery of the Nativity of the Forerunner, founded in the days of the ever-memorable Patriarch Cyril of Jerusalem (1852), led by the Patriarchal Commissioner, the Most Reverend Isychios of Kapitolias. Co-officiating were Archimandrite f. Ieronymus and the Arab-speaking priest f. Charalambos-Farah. The choir of the Church of the Resurrection performed under Head Cantor, Archimandrite Aristovoulos, while a crowd of monks, nuns, local Orthodox and pilgrims participated in piety.
The feast was also observed at the Monastery of the Birth of John the Baptist, which belongs to the Patriarchate of Russia since the 19th c., led by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa. The deputy head of the Russian Spiritual Mission (MISSIA) of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Archimandrite f. Theophanes and other Russian Hieromonks co-officiated, as the female choir of the Convent sang.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a procession thrice around the church, after which Abbess Georgia hosted the Prelatic retinue and flock to a fine, though meatless, lunch.