In the Roman Catholic Church today (November 5th) is the feast day of Saint Elizabeth (in the Greek Church it is celebrated on September 8th). Elizabeth was born in 1st Century, BC, and died in 1st Century AD.
Not much is known about Elizabeth, she was a descendant of the Old Testament patriarch, Aaron, the wife of Zachary, a temple priest, and most famously, the mother of Saint John the Baptist, with whom she became pregnant very late in life, and a kinswoman of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the mother of Jesus. She appears in the Gospel of Luke, where she is described as “righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly,” and is the Elizabeth that Mary visited soon after the Annunciation. Described in the Gospel of Luke as “righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly,” She was the Elizabeth that Mary visited soon after the Annunciation. Elizabeth’s salutation is recorded as: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished.” (Source: “Lives of Saints”, Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.).
Elizabeth is commonly depicted in artwork and images as an elderly woman holding the infant John the Baptist, and as a pregnant woman with the Virgin Mary.
She is the patron saint of expectant mothers/pregnant women and of the Diocese of Fulda, Germany.
I wanted to write a brief post about Elizabeth because my name, Lisa, is a diminutive form of the name which comes from “Elisabet,” the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Elisheva” meaning “my god is an oath” or perhaps “my God is abundance.” (See Behind the Name for more information). My paternal grandmother was named Elizabeth—originally Erzsébet (Hungarian), or Alžbeta (Slovak), and one aunt I was very close with was also named Elizabeth (nicknamed “Betty” and for short, I called her “Auntie B”). The name has been passed down in one form or another in my family for several generations.