The Righteous Elizabeth Mother of John the Forerunner

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AS THE FULL MOON BRIGHTLY REFLECTS THE LIGHT OF THE SUN,
YOU REFLECTED THE GLORY OF THE MESSIAH, THE LIGHT OF WISDOM!
WITH ZACHARIAH YOU WALKED IN ALL THE LORD’S COMMANDMENTS,
ELIZABETH, BELOVED BY GOD.

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SO AS WE BLESS YOU WITH FITTING SONGS,
WE GIVE PRAISE TO THE LORD,
THE BOUNTIFUL LIGHT WHO ENLIGHTENS ALL!

(Hymn of the Feast of St. Elizabeth)

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Yesterday, September 5, we commemorated the Righteous Elizabeth, mother of St. John the Forerunner.  One of the hymns for St. Elizabeth caught my notice, because it reflects a scientific fact, which many of the ancients already believed – the light of the moon is nothing but reflected sunlight.  Already in the 4th Century several Patristic writers expressed belief in the fact that the moon’s light is reflected sunlight.  They also understood that the earth was round, and night was nothing more than being in the shadow of the earth because during the night the sun was on the other side of the earth.  The ancients had no desire to be ignorant or superstitious and embraced the scientific ideas of their day.

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