St Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist
Claim to fame: She was barren, but she and her husband continually supplicated God who gave them St. John the Baptist. God was slow in answering their prayers until the time when the Virgin Mary conceived with the Word of God. When they were stricken in age, God sent His angel Gabriel to Zacharias to announce to him, ‘Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John,’ (Luke 1:13) and the angel told him what would become of St. John. The Virgin St. Mary visited St. Elizabeth to congratulate her on her pregnancy. ‘And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.’ (Luke 1:41) When she gave birth to St. John, the shame of her barrenness was lifted up from her and her people. When she completed her days in purity, righteousness and chastity, she departed in peace.
Quote: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:42-45)
Fun fact: At St John’s circumcision on the eighth day, St Elizabeth is the one who told the people first that his name would be John, despite no one in the family having that name.