John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel for he has visited his people, he has come to their rescue and he has raised up for us a power for salvation in the House of his servant David, even as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times, that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us.
Thus he shows mercy to our ancestors, thus he remembers his holy covenant the oath he swore to our father Abraham that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies, to serve him in holiness and virtue in his presence, all our days.
And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins;
this by the tender mercy of our God who from on high will bring the rising Sun to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.’