|SAINT ELIZABETH, MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST|
|Feast: November 5
name Elizabeth, which has been borne by several saints, means in Hebrew
"worshiper of God." All that we know of Elizabeth, wife of Zachary and
mother of John the Baptist, is to be found in the book of Luke. A descendant of
the priestly line of Aaron, she was a kinswoman—how close we are not told—of
the Virgin Mary. According to the Gospel, Elizabeth had lived a blameless life
with her husband in one of the hill-towns of Judea. Having reached an advanced
age with her prayers for a son unanswered, she thought that her barrenness was a
reproach. One day, while Zachary was serving in the temple, the Angel Gabriel
appeared at the right of the altar, and announced that a son would be born to
Elizabeth. It was in the sixth month of her pregnancy that the Virgin Mary came
to visit her—a touching and beautiful scene pictured by many great artists.
The Angel Gabriel, having lately announced to Mary the destiny that awaited her,
also told her that her kinswoman Elizabeth was with child. The Virgin Mary,
eager to share in Elizabeth's happiness and to confide that she too would bear a
child, traveled down the dusty road from Nazareth. On Mary's arrival, she was
amazed when Elizabeth, having foreseen knowledge, greeted her as "mother of
my Lord." Elizabeth's salutation was in these words: "Blessed art thou
among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And how have I deserved that
the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound
of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed
is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be
accomplished." The Gospel story tells us further that at Elizabeth's
delivery her friends and neighbors rejoiced with her, and when the child was
brought to be circumcised, they were going to call him after his father Zachary,
but his mother said, "His name shall be John."
Saint Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist. Scriptural Saint. Celebration of Feast Day is November 5.
Taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
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