FEast: May 31st
Patron of: mothers, pregnancy
Only the Gospel of Luke says that John was Jesus’ relative, the son of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth.
The story of St. Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah’s announcement of John’s birth by an angel when Elizabeth was too old mirrors the Old Testament story of Hannah and her son Samuel, and also resembles the traditional story of St. Anne as well.
Luke’s version of John’s birth goes that when the angel told Zechariah, he did not believe and so he was given the punishment of not being able to speak until John was born. John’s name was also given to Zechariah by the angel.
Luke also describes a meeting between Mary and Elizabeth while both were pregnant that has come to be known as the Visitation. Elizabeth described feeling John leap in her womb when Mary approached, giving her a sign that John had even recognized Jesus then as the son of God.
Both of you had no idea how this had happened, how you would manage, or what was to come, But you both said yes, and in the face of this change, you chose joy and celebration despite your certain anxiety and uncertainty. Help us to celebrate each other and our life changes as you did, in the knowledge our changes could be as miraculous as yours.
The goal for this images was to include both babies in the painting as well - and this is done through the women's sonograms. This is also another in which I did not want their expressions to be very clear. Most depictions show the women as overjoyed - which they were - to have both been recipients of miracles. But both also knew that hardships would come their way because of this, too, and neither knew the whole of what was to happen quite yet.