Third Sunday in Advent

John 1.19-28

Today’s Gospel reading is another rarely depicted scene from the life of Saint John the Baptist, but not as rare as might be believed, due to it sometimes being labeled simply John the Baptist Preaching or the Sermon of Saint John the Baptist. Seventeenth-century panels that crop the scene to the essential figures give the clue to reidentifying older depictions. The “priests and Levites” sent by the Jews from Jerusalem (John 1.19) are later identified as being “from the Pharisees” (John 1.24). When John is shown preaching, and there are among his listeners a smaller group of men who are more finely attired, they represent this special envoy. It is not so much preaching, but John the Baptist responding to their interrogation of who he is. Here he calls himself the vox clamantis in deserto, although these words are also quoted in all the Gospels and all point back to Isaiah 40.3. He also says Ego baptizo in aqua and ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti. The next day, Jesus came and this moment, when John says Ecce agnus Dei, is much depicted.

The Liturgical Year by Dom Guéranger

Station Church

San Pietro in VaticanoChurches of Rome Wiki


Homilies Of Feasts And Sundays By Catholic Church Fathers by D. G. Hubert (Washbourne, 1901).

Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, holydays and festivals throughout the ecclesiastical year, to which are added the lives of many saints by Leonard Goffiné (Pustet, 1880).

Goffine’s Devout Instructions on the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays and Holydays (Benziger, 1896).

Abridged Sermons for all the Sundays of the Year by Saint Alphonsus Liguori.

The Catholic Pulpit: Containing a Sermon for Every Sunday and Holiday in the Year and for Good Friday (Murphy, 1851).

Readings for the Sundays and Holy Days of the Church’s Year (Bosworth, 1881).

Original, Short and Practical Sermons for Every Feast of the Ecclesiastical Year : Three Sermons for Every Feast by Francis Weninger (Lowen, 1882).

Analysis of the Gospels of the Sundays of the Year by Angelo Cagnolo (Benziger, 1892).

Sermons for Children’s Masses, Accorading to the Sundays and Principal Festivals of the Year by Raphael Frassinetti (Benziger, 1900).

Sermons from the Latins by James J. Baxter (Benziger, 1902).

Short Discourses for all the Sundays in the Year According to the Mind & Method of the Catechism of the Council of Trent by John McQuirk (St. Paul’s Library, 1908).

Meditations for Every Day

Meditations for Every Day in the Year by Roger Baxter (Benziger, 1823, reprinted in 1884).

Meditations for All the Days of the Year by M. Hamon (Benziger, 1894).

Meditations on the Life, the Teaching and the Passion of Jesus Christ for Every Day of the Ecclesiastical Year by Augustine Maria Ilg (Benziger, 1901).

Meditations for the Use of the Secular Clergy by Pierre Chaignon (Benziger, 1907).


Medieval Music Database


14th Century Fresco of Saint John the Baptist holding a Scroll in Fidenza Cathedral

Sermon in the Wilderness by Masolino in the cycle dedicated to Saint John the Baptist in the Baptistery in the Lombard town of Castiglione Olona (1435) – detail of listeners

Saint John the Baptist Preaching by Paolo Veronese (ca. 1562) – see also

The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist by Bernardo Strozzi (1642-1644)

St. John the Baptist with the Scribes and Pharisees by Murillo (ca. 1655)

Warburg Institute Iconographic Database – I baptize with water, I am not the Christ

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