Although the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist is not one of the twelves great feasts of the Orthodox Church, nevertheless it is considered a great feast, as the Baptist was called by the Lord the greatest of men who had every been born. The feast commemorates several things. First of all, it is a day of great sorrow, that the holiest of men was put to death, not due to any fault of his won, but due to lust and envy. Also it signifies the death of a man who connected the Old Testament with the New. He himself stated that he had to become smaller while Christ would become greater.
His Grace, Bishop Luke, presided at the Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by the monastery clergy. As has been the tradition since 1769, all those Orthodox warriors, who gave their lives for the sake of the Fatherland and the Faith, were commemorated at the Great Entrance. Empress Catherine the Great ordered this during the wars against the Poles and the Turks.
The monastery is very blessed to have a relic from the head of St. John the Baptist. This was given to the fathers of the monastery in Slovakia, from where our older fathers immigrated after World War II, by Serbian Patriarch Varnava.