Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Elizabeth, Saint

john zacharias art gabriel

Elizabeth was the mother of Saint *John the Baptist, the wife of the priest *Zacharias, and a kinswoman of the Virgin *Mary . She is mentioned in the Gospel of *Luke as a righteous, elderly, and childless womanwhose husband, visited by the *angel *Gabriel, received news that she would bear a son to be named John. Zacharias’s lack of belief is detailed in Luke which chapter also describes Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Mary’s *Visitation to her relative (39-56), and the birth and naming of John (57-64). The apocryphal Protevangelium of James describes how Elizabeth took the infant John and sought refuge in a cave during the *Massacre of the Innocents while *Herod’s soldiers murdered Zacharias at the Temple.

Scenes from the life of Elizabeth found in early Christian and medieval art include the birth of Saint John (Zacharias, previously rendered speechless by the angel Gabriel, is usually present, writing John’s name on a tablet), and the flight of Elizabeth and her infant to the cave. She is depicted most often, however, in scenes of the Visitation, a subject which appears in art of the fifth and sixth century and with great frequency throughout the Middle Ages. The two women are shown embracing, standing and conversing, or, especially in later medieval art, Elizabeth may be depicted kneeling before Mary. Elizabeth is often shown as an elderly figure, wearing a veil.

Ellen Tracy [next] [back] Elise, Kimberly (1971–)

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or