On this day God sent the angel Gabriel to Zacharias the priest, the son of Barachias, and told him concerning John the Baptist, his son.  Now Zacharias was a righteous man, and he was exceedingly old, and his period for begetting children had passed; moreover, his wife Elisabeth was childless, and her period for conceiving and bringing forth children was passed.  And Zacharias was praying and beseeching God continually to give him a child, for the sake of the children of Israel who reviled him because a son had not been born unto him, and they treated him with ignominy and contempt, and because of it they said unto him, “He hath lost the blessing which God promised to give to our father Adam, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’”’; therefore he entreated God to give him a son.  And God, blessed be His Name, had compassion upon him, and He hearkened unto his petition, and He sent the angel Gabriel unto him, and the angel told him about the birth of John his son.  And this angel came to Zacharias when he was standing and praying in the sanctuary, even as the Holy Gospel saith.  And he preached to him the great prophet John, that he should precede Christ, and that he should prepare for Him His way, even as it is said concerning the prophet, that he shall become a preacher before Him.  Now Zacharias knew his own weakness, and how far advanced his days were, and his old age, and that his wife was barren, and for this reason he contradicted the angel and said unto him, “How can this thing possibly happen to me, seeing that I have become old, and am a very aged man, and my wife is barren, and she also is very old, and her days [for childbearing] are passed.”  And the angel rebuked him, and told him, saying, “I am sent unto thee from God to speak to thee and to tell thee this thing, and it is not seemly for thee to doubt; but thou shalt be dumb until this thing shall be fulfilled in its appointed time.”  And Zacharias was dumb until John, the preparer of the way of the Lord, was born.  When they were circumcising the child they asked his father and said unto him, “What shall he be called?”  And he wrote upon tablets saying, “His name is John.”  And straightway his mouth and his tongue were opened, and he spoke and praised God–blessed be His Name!  And Zacharias prophesied concerning his son that he should become a prophet and should go before the face of the Messiah of God, and he prophesied concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.

Salutation to Elisabeth.

And on this day also is commemorated the translation of the body of ‘Aboli the martyr, the son of Justus.  Salutation to the translation of the body of Aboli.

And on this day also are commemorated ten thousand martyrs and ‘Agati of Egypt, and our father, George the martyr.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.