[{ "synaxartitle":"Amshir", "synaxareading":"16" }, { "synaxartitle":"Departure of Saint Elizabeth, the Mother of Saint John the Baptist", "synaxareading":"RETURN RETURN RETURN On this day the upright and righteous Saint Elizabeth, mother of Saint John the Baptist, departed. ThisRETURN holy woman was born in Jerusalem to a righteous father called Matthan from the tribe of Levi andRETURN from the house of Aaron the priest. Her mother's name was Sofia.RETURN Matthan had three daughters. The first was called Mary, the mother of Salome, the midwife whoRETURN cared for the Virgin Saint Mary during her virginal birth. The name of the second daughter wasRETURN Sofia, the mother of Saint Elizabeth, the mother of Saint John the Baptist. The youngest daughter wasRETURN Saint Hannah, the mother of the Virgin Saint Mary, the mother of the Savior. Therefore, Salome,RETURN Elizabeth and the Virgin Saint Mary were cousins.RETURN RETURN RETURN When Saint Zacharias the priest married Saint Elizabeth, they lived in righteousness and holinessRETURN before God, as the evangelist said, \"They were both righteous before God, walking in all theRETURN commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.\" (Luke 1:6)RETURN RETURN RETURN This upright woman was barren. She and her husband continually supplicated God who gave themRETURN Saint John the Baptist. God was slow in answering their prayers until the time when the Virgin MaryRETURN conceived with the Word of God. When they were stricken in age, God sent His angel Gabriel toRETURN Zacharias to announce to him, \"Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call hisRETURN name John,\" (Luke 1:13) and the angel told him what would become of Saint John. RETURN RETURN RETURN The Virgin Saint Mary visited Saint Elizabeth to congratulate her on her pregnancy. \"And it happened,RETURN when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth wasRETURN filled with the Holy Spirit.\" (Luke 1:41) When she gave birth to Saint John, the shame of herRETURN barrenness was lifted up from her and her people. When she completed her days in purity,RETURN righteousness and chastity, she departed in peace.RETURN RETURN Her intercession be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.RETURN" }]