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Patron Saints

St. John, the greatest among the Holy Prophets, Holy Forerunner and Baptist of Our Lord, brought to a close the history of the Old Testament Church and opened the era of the New Testament. The Holy Prophet John bore witness to the arrival on earth of the Only-begotten Son of God, who had taken on human flesh. St. John was made worthy to baptize the Savior in the waters of the Jordan, and to bear witness to the mystical appearance of the Most Holy Trinity on the day of His Baptism. The Forerunner of the Lord, born six months prior to the Nativity of Jesus Christ, was the son of the priest Zacharias and the righteous Elizabeth, who was a relative of the mother of our Lord. In the Temple of the Lord, the Archangel Gabriel revealed to Zacharias that he would have a son. An answer to his parents' prayers, and praised exceedingly from above, the child was filled with the All-holy Spirit. With concern and compassion for the fate of the people of God, St. John prepared himself for his great service by leading a strict life of asceticism, fasting, and prayer in the wilderness.

The Holy Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth were the parents of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. They were descended from the lineage of Aaron: St Zachariah, son of Barach, was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and St Elizabeth was the sister of St Anna, the mother of the Most Holy Theotokos. The righteous spouses, "walking in all the commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6), suffered barrenness, which in those times was considered a punishment from God.

Once, during his turn of priestly service in the Temple, St Zachariah was told by an angel that his aged wife would bear him a son, who "will be great in the sight of the Lord" (Luke 1:15) and "will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias