The 26th Day of the Blessed Month of Tout
The Angels Annunciation of John the Baptist to Zacharias
On this day it was announced to Zacharias the priest the birth of John the Baptist. Zacharias was well advanced in years and his wife, Elizabeth, was barren and her period for begetting children had passed. Zacharias was praying and beseeching God continually to give him a child because the children of Israel reviled anyone without a son and treated him with ignominy. They would say about him that he was without the blessing that God had told Adam in these words: "Be fruitful and multiply." That was why that righteous man was continually asking God to give him a son. The Lord had compassion on him and He hearkened to his petition. He sent him Gabriel the angel to announce to him the birth of John. The angel came to him while he was in the sanctuary as is said in the Holy Gospel (Luke 1:11) and announced to him the birth of the great prophet John, and that he should precede the Christ as it was said in the prophets, He shall go before Him." He said to the angel asking, "Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well advanced in years." The angel told him that he was sent from God to tell him this thing and it is not seemly for him to doubt. He then told him that he shall be dumb till his birth. And on the day of John's circumcision, they asked him about the child's name. He asked for a tablet and wrote on it John and straightaway his mouth opened. Then he spoke and praised God and prophesied concerning his son John that he should become a prophet and should go before the face of the Lord, and he prophesied concerning the Lord Christ.
May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.