Elizabeth is known through St. Luke's Gospel
(1:5-22), which tells that she was of priestly descent and for many years
had been married to a priest
of them were upright and devout, blamelessly observing all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord. But they had no children, for Elizabeth was
barren, and both were well on in years. (Luke 1:5-7). Once an angel came
to Zacharias and foretold that Elizabeth would give birth to a child, who
should be named John. The angel also foretold Zacharias the future of his
son, John the Baptist.
Elizabeth "conceived, and for five months
she lived in seclusion, thinking, 'This is the Lord's doing; now at last
he has shown me favor and taken away from me the disgrace of childlessness.'"
(Luke1:23-25). Virgin Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-54) and, hearing
her voice, the child stirred in Elizabeth's womb, greeting Mary. (see:
When the child was born Zacharias called him
John, despite the protest of all the neighbors.
The second text about Elizabeth, the apocryphal
by James, tells of the Flight into Desert: during the Massacre of Infants,
Elizabeth tried to escape with her child into the mountains. She was
nearly caught when a rock miraculously opened before her and hid her and
her child, the future John the Baptist.
See: Lucas Cranach the Elder. St.
Elizabeth with the Patron, Duke of Saxony.
of the Virgin with St. Elizabeth.
Andrea Mantegna. Holy
Family with St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist as a Child.
Nicolas Poussin Holy
Family with John the Baptist and St. Elizabeth.
Peter Paul Rubens Holy
Family with St. Elizabeth.