The story of this Old Testament prophet, also known as Elijah, can be found in the Holy Scriptures, in 1 and 2 Kings. His name means “The Lord is God.” A miracle-worker and a zealot for faith in God, he was born of the tribe of Aaron from the town Tishba, for which he was called the Tishbite.
At his birth, his father saw an angel of God hovering around the child, wrapping him in fire and giving him a flame to eat. That was a foreshadowing of St. Elia’s fiery character.
St. Elia displayed the power and authority of God through many great miracles: he closed up the heavens so that there was no rain for three years and six months; he lowered a fire from heaven and burned the sacrifice to his God, which the pagan priests of Baal were unable to do; he brought down rain from heaven by his prayer; he miraculously multiplied flour and oil in the home of the widow in Zarephath, and resurrected her son. On Mount Horeb, he spoke with God and heard the voice of God in the calm of a gentle breeze.
Before his death, he took Elisha and designated him as his successor in the prophetic calling; by his mantle, he divided the waters of the Jordan river. Finally, he was taken up into the heavens in a fiery chariot by flaming horses.
With Enoch (Gen. 5:24), he is one of two people ever to be taken bodily to heaven without first dying and being raised. He and Moses appeared standing with Christ at the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Before the end of the world, St. Elia will appear again to put an end to the power of the anti-Christ (Revelation, Chapter 11).