The Glorious and Most Honorable Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist
The glorious Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist is also referred to as John the Forerunner because he was the forerunner of Christ. He was an ascetic and great prophet, who baptized Christ and became one of the most revered saints in the Orthodox Church. John is a cousin of Christ through his mother Elizabeth who was the daughter of Zoia. Zoia is the sister of Christ's grandmother. He was later beheaded by Herod in the first century to satisfy the request of Herod's stepdaughter, Salome, and wife Herodias. He is sometimes called the Angel of the Desert; because of this title, he is sometimes depicted with wings.
Apolytikion in the Second Mode
The memory of the righteous is celebrated with songs of praise, But the Lord's testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner. You were shown indeed to be the most Honorable of the Prophets, for in the waters you baptize the one whom you preached. After suffering with joy on behalf of the truth, you proclaimed even to those in hell the God who appeared in the flesh Who takes away the sin of the world, and grants us great mercy!
Kontakion in Plagal of the Second Mode
The river Jordan trembled, and was driven back filled with fear at Your coming in the flesh, While John drew back in awe As he fulfilled the ministry of the Spirit. The ranks of angels stood amazed, When they beheld You baptized in the stream, And we, who were in darkness, are filled with light, praising You, God made manifest, who enlightens all!