The collect for today, the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, from The Book of Common Prayer (Canadian, 1962):
O God, who didst send thy messenger, John the Baptist, to be the forerunner of the Lord, and to glorify thee by his death: Grant that we, who have received the truth of thy most holy Gospel, may bear our witness thereunto, and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Artwork: Caravaggio, Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, 1608. Oil on canvas, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta.