June 24, 2019 Length: 1:39
The wonderful story of the Forerunner's conception and birth is told in the first chapter of the Gospel according to Luke. Together with the Most Holy Theotokos and Christ Himself, both his conception and his birth are commemorated as Feasts of the Church. His name, Johanan in Hebrew, means "The Lord is Gracious."
The Prologue adds: "The news of the angel's appearing to Zacharias, of his dumbness and of the loosening of his tongue at the exact moment that he wrote 'John', was carried throughout all Israel, coming to Herod's ears. So, when he sent men to kill all the infants around Bethlehem, he sent men off to Zacharias' family house in the hills, to slay John also. But Elisabeth hid the child in good time. The king was enraged at this, and sent an executioner to the Temple to kill Zacharias (for it was then his turn to serve in the Temple again). Zacharias was killed between the court and the Temple, and his blood clotted and solidified on the paving slabs, and remained as an enduring witness against Herod. Elisabeth hid herself and the child in a cave, where she soon died. The young John remained in the wilderness alone, in the care of God and His angels." See September 5.