Gallery The Nativity of the Theotokos

8. september 2019

The icon is written very gently on a gold background and is compositionally divided into two parts. On the left is the main scene - the birth of Saint Anna sitting on a gold bed with a snow-covered canvas. She is covered with a red cloak. She has a white scarf on her head and a gold nimbus with her name around her. She is clad in dark blue underwear. The symbolism of these colors gives us an idea of ​​what an exceptional event it is. Gold is the color of God's glory and divine brightness. Red is the color of kings and the color of life and fire of the Holy Spirit. White is a sign of heavenly purity, holiness and perfection. Dark blue is the color of mystical mystery and mystical depth. By the birth of the Holy Mother, God began the history of salvation, which is symbolically suggested by a curtain revealing light. Roses embroidered on it enhance the impression of heavenly beauty of paradise and perfection.

Behind Anna are three women (angels), they take newly born Mary and bring her gifts. Among them is table set for Anna to gain strength after childbirth. In the right part, midwives wash the newborn baby. The scenes take place inside the parent house. The walls are dominated by three colors: the pink color of joy and exceptional mission, the blue-green color of the spiritual world, and the yellow color of God's light. The entire interior is decorated with rich ornaments that complete the festive atmosphere of birth. At the top, you can see the motives that preceded birth. Joachim is preparing a festive feast on the right.

On one side, Anna in the garden looks at the sparrow's nest, which reminds her of her infertility and, in the truth of her heart, reproaches her unfulfilled desire for a child. On the other side, closest to God is the praying Joachim in the wilderness. In the center is a picture of the conception of Mary. Anna is portrayed not touching the ground with her feet, but as if, due to the unspeakable joy that God has heard her prayers, she was floating in the arms of her beloved. God reigns above all biblical figures depicted, and blesses them from heaven. The icon shows the architecture of the dwellings of Joachim and Anna in an inverted perspective. On the sides of the icon are two family patrons: again Saint Anna and Saint Mary of Egypt.

The birth of Mary is described in James' proto-Gospel. Anna and Joachim were childless for 40 years. They were both pious and righteous, serving God, but their prayers for the child were not heard. Joachim was a rich man. One day Joachim went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Temple. He wanted, like others, to offer sacrifice to God. But the high priest Isachar refused his sacrifice. He reproached him that the "infertile" man who did not multiply the nation of God was as defiled as he who had been guilty and it was inapropriate for such person to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Ashamed, Joachim regretted into the mountains. There he fasted in the desert and prayed. An angel appeared to him.

 

He told him that God would hear his request. He will give him a daughter who, from childhood, will be dedicated to God, for she is destined to give birth to a Son, through whom all nations will be saved. The angel also announced the same news to Anna, who prayed in the garden and urged her to go to Jerusalem. Anna obeyed him and met Joachim at the Golden Gate, where they celebrated that they were to have a child. At a given time, Anna gave birth to a daughter named Mary. It was a big event. Joachim brought a sacrifice of ten lambs and organized a feast.

 

The name Joachim means Preparing for the Lord. The name Anna means grace, love, prayer. We do not have accurate reports about them, but on the other hand, they enjoy great esteem among believing Christians, not only in Slovakia but around the world. Saint Anna is the patron saint of miners, the poor and hard-working.

SPIRITUAL HERITAGE

In your blessing, Virgin, all nature is blessed

The heavens and the stars, the earth and the rivers, day and night, everything that is subject to and for the benefit of man, congratulates you, Lady, that through you all has regained lost beauty and has yet acquired a new, unspeakable grace. Everything was created to be subordinate and to serve the person who is to glorify God. But everything lost its original dignity and was as if dead. The whole creature was burned down and was defiled by those who misused it for idolatry, because nothing was created for it. But now, as the newborn, everything enjoys the same dignity, for once again everything is subordinate to the rule of people who glorify God and can serve them again. Everything rejoices as if it gained a new, invaluable grace, for it not only feels that God Himself, the Creator Himself, invisibly directs the whole creation from above, but also sees him among himself as is to serve and sanctify him. And this great grace came from the blessed fruit of the blessed life of the blessed Mary.

Through the fullness of your grace, all that was in the underworld enjoyed liberation, and rejoices in everything that is on earth. For through the glorious Son of your glorious virginity, all the righteous who died before his reviving death, for he breaks their shackles, and the angels enjoy the renewal of their half-destroyed city.

A woman full, even overwhelmed with grace! All creatures come to life sprinkled from your overflowing fullness! Blessed, even more than Blessed Virgin! In your blessing all nature is blessed; and not only the nature, created by the Creator, but also the Creator is magnified by his creation.

From Speeches of Saint Bishop Anselm

Feast: 8th September

Resources:

Z Rečí svätého biskupa Anzelma (Oratio 52: Patrologia Latina 158, 955-956). Slovenský preklad Liturgia hodín (december)  https://lh.kbs.sk/include/pc_sv_dec.htm

О чем молитва икона рождество пресвятой богородицы, https://молитва-слов.рф/o-chem-molitva-ikona-rozhdestvo-presvyatoj-bogoroditsy/