The first word in Latin (‘Blessed’) of the oracle attributed in Luke 1: 68 to Zechariah, who had been struck dumb for disbelieving the angel (Luke 1: 20). With his power of speech restored he at once gives thanks to God for the birth of his son John, though only verses 76–7 refer specifically to John; elsewhere there are more general references to God's covenant with Abraham. The canticle has been incorporated into Church liturgies.