Day of remembrance of the prophet Zechariah and the righteous Elizabeth, the parents of St. John the Baptist (18/09)

The holy prophet Zacharias and the holy righteous Elizabeth were the parents of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John. Righteous priest Zacharias and his wife Elisaveta (sister of Anna, mother of the Most Holy Theotokos), "acting according to all the commandments of the Lord blamelessly", suffered from infertility, which in Old Testament times was considered a great punishment of God.

Once, while serving in the temple, Saint Zacharias received a message from an angel that his aged wife would bear him a son who “will be great before the Lord” and “will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah.” Zechariah doubted the possibility of fulfilling this prediction and was punished with dumbness for lack of faith.

When a son was born to the righteous Elizabeth, she, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, announced that she would name the baby John, although no one in their family had been given such a name before. They asked the righteous Zechariah, and he also wrote the name John on the tablet. Immediately the gift of speech returned to him, and he, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to prophesy about his son as the Forerunner of the Lord.