September 12, 2019

Commemoration of the Muting and Vision of Zechariah

According to the seventh century Jerusalem Canonarion, on the 12th of September is the Commemoration of the Muting and Vision of Zechariah, who is known as the Prophet and served as High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem. It was while serving in the Temple on the Day of Atonement that he received the announcement from the Archangel Gabriel that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son in her old age, who would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. Because Zechariah doubted this announcement, since he thought he and his wife were too old to have a child, Gabriel struck him mute for the entire duration of her pregnancy. Finally, at the circumcision of the new-born child, eight days after his birth, those present asked him what he would like to name the child, and on a writing tablet he wrote down the name indicated to him by the Archangel Gabriel, saying: "His name is John." Immediately after this he was finally allowed to speak, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied about the child in song. This commemoration falls in between the feast of the Prophet Zechariah on September 5th and the feast of the Conception of Saint John the Baptist on September 23.