|Daniel Bonnell- USA|
At the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to inform her that she would conceive of the Holy Spirt, he also informed her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was already six months pregnant (Luke 1:36). Mary then journeyed to visit Elizabeth. Luke’s Gospel recounts that the baby “leapt” in Elizabeth’s womb at the greeting of Mary.
|Brigid Marlin- USA|
The sole biblical account of the birth of St. John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke. John’s parents, Zechariah or Zachary, a Jewish priest, and Elizabeth, were without children and both were beyond the age of child-bearing. During Zechariah's rotation to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem, he was chosen by lot to offer incense at the Golden Altar in the Holy Place. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and announced that he and his wife would give birth to a child, and that they should name him John. Due to Elizabeth's "old age" Zechariah did not believe the message of Gabriel and so was rendered speechless until the time of John's birth.
When the child was born, his relatives wanted to name the child after his father, but Zechariah wrote, "His name is John" . At this his mouth was opened and he could speak (Luke 1:5-25; 1:57-66). Following Zechariah's obedience to the command of God, he was given the gift of prophecy, and foretold the future ministry of John (Luke 1:67-79).
|Birth of St. John- Spanish 1525|
St. John the Baptist is patron of tailors (because he made his own garments in the desert), of shepherds (because he spoke of the "Lamb of God"), and of masons. This patronage over masons is traced to his words:
Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight all his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, And the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth. (Luke 3, 4-6.)