St John the Baptist statue

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John the Baptist was probably born southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel Gabriel told his father that his wife would bear a child even though she was an old woman. When John was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism "For the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand". He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, John recognized Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, "It is I who need baptism from You