Shown here in the robes of an Old Testament priest, the Prophet Zacharias served in the division of Abia in the Temple at Jerusalem, offering incense to the Lord. When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his wife, Elizabeth, who was very advanced in years and barren, would bear a son named John, Zacharias did not believe him, and so was struck dumb.
All the words of the Archangel proved to be true and in time Elizabeth conceived and when her son was born she called him John. When the people complained and turned to Zacharias for confirmation, he wrote out on a tablet, “His name is John” (Luke 1:63). Then his tongue was loosed and he said, “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways” (Luke 1:76). The holy Prophet was killed by soldiers sent by Herod to demand that he tell them where this most special son was, as Herod sought to kill the King of Whom the Magi had told that they were come to worship. Zacharias blood was spilled and then it set into the very stones where he was slain between the Temple and the altar in Jerusalem.