St Elijah the Holy Prophet

Today, we liturgically remember Elijah the Prophet. It is a day to request a blessing for the car and motorcycle.

Prophet Elijah of great renown, seer of the mighty mighty works of God, by your command you held back the rain! Pray for us to the only Lover of mankind! (Kontakion)

Elijah was a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel during the 9th century reign of Ahab and his consort Jezebel. The first book of Kings records the prophet’s fight against the ingratitude and apostasy of the chosen people, a battle colorfully portrayed in Elijah’s contest with the priests of Baal.

Later Judaic tradition came to regard Elijah’s fiery departure as a prophetic sign in itself, and his return was awaited as the herald of the Messianic age. Thus in the New Testament, both John the Baptist and Christ were mistakenly thought to be the reappearance of Elijah. However, at Christ’s transfiguration, Elijah does make his second appearance in fulfillment of this ancient expectation.

Elijah is one of the most dramatic and inspiring of the Old Testament prophets. His many feats of power over the elements of fire and water made him a popular saint in the oldest folk traditions of the Middle East and Russia. The Church remembers the prophet as a prototype of Christ, and events from his life are read on the feasts of Pascha, Theophany, and the Transfiguration. (NS)