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Righteous Elizabeth, Mother of the Forerunner Icon - S339


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Saint Elizabeth was the wife of Righteous Zacharias the high priest and the mother of Saint John the Forerunner. She was a descendent of Aaron and a sister of Saint Anna, the mother of the Theotokos. She was barren, but the Lord heard the prayers of Zacharias and Elizabeth for a child. In her old age, she gave birth to a son, who was named John at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Herod the Tetrarch believed that John may have been the King of the Jews that the Magi had seen, so he sent soldiers to kill him. Elizabeth took John and hid in the hills; the earth miraculously opened to conceal them. At the same time, Zacharias was murdered between the temple and the altar at the order of Herod. Elizabeth died forty days later.

Saint Elizabeth is commemorated on September 5, as well as on June 24, the feast of the Nativity of John the Forerunner.

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