Icon of the Nativity (16th cent.)

Icon of the Nativity (16th cent.)
/upload/iblock/423/0e32b5e0be894085d30726657dd7e335.jpg Icon of the Nativity (16th cent.)
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Direct print on linden panel.

Feast day: January 7 (Gregorian calendar), December 25 (Julian calendar) 

One of the Twelve Great Orthodox Feasts. On this day, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, appeared in the darkness of the night in the sheep-cote of the small Judean town of Bethlehem. The Gospels, of Mark and Luke, tell us the story. The focus of the icon is the Mother of God on a bed. Next to her is the opening in the cave in which there is the manger with the Babe. Above the cave, there is the celestial hemisphere and the star of Bethlehem, whose rays go down to the Babe. Angels and Magicians with their gifts are to the left and right. The lower part of the icon presents washing of the Babe by two women and Joseph the Betrothed, deep in his thoughts. The deep Mystery of coming of Christ the Saviour to this world took place far away from men. The Lord was born in secret and humility, and the world was unaware of the Nativity. 

Troparion, Tone 4 
Thy Nativity, O Christ our Lord, hath shined upon the world the light of knowledge, for thereby they that worshipped the stars were taught by a star to worship thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Day-spring from on high. O Lord, Glory to Thee.

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