Images of Medieval Art and Architecture


Luke 1
Conception of John the Baptist and of Christ: The Visitation and canticle of the Blessed Virgin: the birth of the Baptist, and the canticle of Zachary.

Chapter 1

1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration
of the things that have been accomplished among us;

2 According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning
were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word:

3 It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from
the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent

4 That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest
named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of
the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.

6 And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and
justifications of the Lord without blame.

7 And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were
well advanced in years.

8 And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order
of his course before God,

9 According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer
incense, going into the temple of the Lord.

10 And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of

11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right
side of the alter of incense.

12 And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard;
and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt
call his name John:

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his

15 For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor
strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even
from his mother's womb.

16 And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he
may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the
incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect

18 And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an
old man, and my wife is advanced in years.

19 And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before
God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee
these good tidings.

20 And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until
the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because
thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.

21 And the people were waiting for Zachary; and they wondered that he
tarried so long in the temple.

22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they understood
that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he made
signs to them, and remained dumb.

23 And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he
departed to his own house.

24 And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself
five months, saying:

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard
to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city
of Galilee, called Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of
David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the
Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself
what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace
with God.

31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son;
and thou shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and
the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his
father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.

33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not

35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon
thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow
thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be
called the Son of God.

36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her
old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called

37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.

38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me
according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste
into a city of Juda.

40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary,
the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled
with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be
accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from
henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is
his name.

50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear

51 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the
conceit of their heart.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent
empty away.

54 He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:

55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own

57 Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought
forth a son.

58 And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his
great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with

59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the
child, and they called him by his father's name Zachary.

60 And his mother answering, said: Not so; but he shall be called John.

61 And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by
this name.

62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

63 And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And
they all wondered.

64 And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he
spoke, blessing God.

65 And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were
noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.

66 And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying:
What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of
the Lord was with him.

67 And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he
prophesied, saying:

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought
the redemption of his people:

69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David
his servant:

70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the

71 Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us:

72 To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament,

73 The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to

74 That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him
without fear,

75 In holiness and justice before him, all our days.

76 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:

77 To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of
their sins:

78 Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on
high hath visited us:

79 To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to
direct our feet into the way of peace.

80 And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the
deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

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Updated by Jane Vadnal, December, 1997