From the hand of Monk Chrysostom of Nea Skiti Monastery on Mount Athos, this modern icon shows the birth of St. John the Baptist. The Holy Archangel Gabriel had appeared to Zacharias the Priest as he served in the Temple, just six months before he would appear to the Virgin Mary telling her that she would bear a child. St. Gabriel told Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth, barren for the many years of their marriage, would conceive and bear a son, and that he should name him John.
St. Zacharias was doubtful in his heart about this strange message, so he was struck dumb until the words of the Archangel would come true, and his tongue was loosed eight days after St. John was born. In this icon, Zacharias is sitting in the lower right hand corner writing out the child’s name, while his wife Elizabeth is tended by the three midwives by the table. The infant St. John is lying in a crib below St. Elizabeth’s feet. Although many things seem impossible to our fallen human reason, truly nothing good is impossible to God if we are willing and try to have faith and cooperate with Him. Together, our faith and God’s Will are mighty.