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New Testament Notes

Elizabeth

     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 Zacharias. Both 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: Visitation).
     When the child was born Zacharias called him John, despite the protest of all the neighbors.
     The second text about Elizabeth, the apocryphal Protevangelium 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.
Giotto Meeting 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.
 
 

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