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The Meeting of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Francesco Guarino, Sotheby’s; depicts the moment (recounted in Luke 1:8-12) that the angel Gabriel visited the elderly Zechariah (here shown accompanied by his wife Elizabeth) in the temple to announce that Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. As punishment for his disbelief, Zechariah was struck dumb until his wife gave birth.

 

Feast of Saints Zechariah and Elizabeth

(1st c.)

St. Elizabeth of the Visitation was the wife of Zachary, a temple priest, and the cousin and close companion of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the one whom Our Lady visited in haste after the Annunciation. The Angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was expecting a miraculous child in her old age. Upon hearing Mary’s voice, who was then carrying the Son of God in her womb, Elizabeth’s unborn child leaped in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was with Elizabeth that Mary first shared the joy of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. St. Elizabeth gave birth to St. John the Baptist, the prophet who prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry. St. Elizabeth is described in the Gospel of Luke as “righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments of the Lord blamelessly.”

St. Elizabeth shares a feast day with her husband, Zachary, on November 5th.

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Blessed be the Lord,The God of Israel; He has come to His people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
Born of the house of His servant David.

Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy Covenant.

This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.

You, My child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning.
is now, and will be forever.

Amen.”

Canticle of Zechariah (Gospel of Luke 1:68-79)

Gerónimo Antonio de Ezquerra, The Visitation, ca 1737

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
Saints Zechariah and Elizabeth, Greek Orthodox icon

Saints Elizabeth and Zechariah, parents of the forerunner of Jesus Christ, john the baptistpray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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