Edward Pothier wrote:
The second usual thing is that this Solemnity commemorates the birth of John the Baptist. The Roman Catholic Church, in general, does not celebrate the birthday of saints as their feastdays, but usually the (supposed) anniversary of their death or some related date, e.g. a close date if some higher feast occurs on the death date or for the transfer of relics. The only "birthdays" celebrated in the RC calendar are of Jesus (of course on December 25), Mary on September 8, and John the Baptist on June 24. So John the Baptist is in pretty high company with this distinction.
Right, the three born without original sin (John is held to have been sanctified at the Visitation, not dogma of course)
By the way, since this Solemnity falls on a Friday this year, any obligation for abstinence from meat or other Friday penitential action is suppressed.
Do you know when the Church first changed this rule? Even with Paul VI abstinence was only lifted on Holy Days of Obligation, not solemnities pure and simple.
"Apart from the faculties referred to in VI and VIII regarding the manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days, abstinence is to be observed on every Friday which does not fall on a day of obligation, while abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday or, according to local practice, on the first day of 'Great Lent' and on Good Friday"