Monday, September 06, 2010

September 6th: The Prophet Zechariah

Continuing on with our highlighting of the Old Testament prophets and righteous in the context of the liturgical calendar, the Roman Martyrology today mentions the Prophet Zechariah, one of the twelve minor prophets:

"In Palestine, St. Zachary [Zechariah], Prophet, who returned from Chaldea to his native land when he was an old man, and dying there lies buried near the prophet Aggaeus [Haggai]."

The following summation of the prophet Zechariah comes from the website of the Vatican museums in the context of the portrayal of the same within the Sistine chapel:

"Zechariah, who lived around 500 BC worked on sustaining the Israelites on their return from exile in Babylon with the word of God. They were disappointed due to a lack of signs of divine blessing for the hardships suffered. In the first part of his book (Zechariah ch.1-6), eight visions are described that foretell the coming of the Messiah. With these the prophet tries to infuse courage into the disheartened souls of his people. In the following chapters the prophet promises the coming of the day of reward (Zechariah, 8, 1-23) and the future restoration of Israel, which will be preceded by wars and calamities (Zechariah , ch. 9-14) due to the failure to recognize the Messiah (Zechariah 9, 9-10). The words of Zechariah, foretelling the coming of the Messiah, are repeated in the Gospel according to Matthew to demonstrate the Messianic coming of Christ (Matthew 21,4-7)."

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