Blessed Among Women (Luk 1:42)

Visitation ( visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Saint Elizabeth, Virgin Mary shown pregnant ), 14th century Wallpaintings, Timios Stavros Church in Pelendri, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List

The Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth

Then said Ozias unto her, O daughter, blessed art thou of the most high God above all the women upon the earth; and blessed be the Lord God, which hath created the heavens and the earth, which hath directed thee to the cutting off of the head of the chief of our enemies. (Judith 13:18)

And she [Elizabeth] spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (Luk 1:42)

After saving her city by beheading Holofernes, the commanding general of the Assyrian army, Judith brings the head to Ozias, one of the governors of Bethulia. This happens in much the same way as the story of the death of Sisera by the hand of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite (Jud 5:24). A great deal of similarity exists between the praise heaped upon Jael by Deborah and Barak, and the praise heaped upon Judith by Ozias. Nevertheless, Elizabeth is clearly quoting from Judith, whereas Ozias — in his praise of Judith — is alluding to the praise of Jael.

Judith Beheading Holofernes (Caravaggio)

Judith Beheading Holofernes (Caravaggio)