"Blessed Art Thou Amongst Women"
The Story of Saints Elizabeth and Saint Zachary
We know St Elizabeth, whose name in Hebrew means “worshipper of God” & St Zachary from St Luke’s Gospel. They are the parents of Saint John The Baptist.
But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
Saint Zachary spoke one of the three canticles of the New Testament, The Benedictus. Saint Zachary was inspired by God through an angel to give Saint John the Baptist his name. It is through Saint Elizabeth’s greeting to Our Lady that we get the 2nd line of the Ave Maria “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
We also get confirmation that Christ is king from Saint. Elizabeth “Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me!” Saint Zachary was martyred in the Temple of Jerusalem by the Jews. The martyrs of the Old Testament run from A to Z, from Abel, the son of Adam and the first martyr that ever was, to Zachary, the father of John the Baptist and the last martyr of the Old Testament.
Not much else is known about Saint Elzabeth and Saint Zachary thus the modern world ignores their feast day and indeed outside of the readings for Christmas, barely even acknowledges them. Yet great saints bore them homage through their very names, Saint Elizabeth Seton and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Elizabeth, remains to this day, the 15th most popular girl’s name in the United States!
Saint Zachary & Elizabeth, ora pro nobis!