Christian Icons of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is well known that there is a variety of icons depicting the Theotokos and different biblical events from her life. For example, there is a significant range of religious icons dedicated to the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Temple. Christian icons with the scene of the arrival of the 3-year-old Virgin Mary with her parents to the Temple in Jerusalem have a truly profound and complex composition. Read about them and the history of the feast in our new blog post.
The history of the feast
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Temple is one of the greatest Christian feasts. This day marks the dedication of the little Virgin Mary to God. Her parents, the righteous Joachim and Anne, were childless but received a message from the Lord stating that a child would be born to them. When the girl was three years old, Joachim and Anne brought their daughter to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfill the promise they made to the Lord. From then on, Mary was devoted to the service of God. She lived in the temple studying the Scriptures and praying to the Most High until her betrothal to Joseph.
According to the Russian tradition, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Temple is considered a women’s holiday that people celebrate along with the beginning of winter festivity.
Christian icons of the feast and their description
Religious icons dedicated to the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Temple quite accurately convey the biblical story. In the center of the icon composition, one can see the Virgin Mary standing in front of the priest Zachariah. The Virgin is dressed in an omophorion, and her arms are stretched out to the priest. Zachariah, who has come out to meet the Virgin Mary, bows before her and also stretches out his hands to lead her into the Holy of Holies. Behind the Virgin are Joachim and Anna who brought their daughter to the service of the Lord.
Christian icons of this type possess a complex composition due to the different events being depicted in the same space. For example, the second important scene in the background also shows Mary who is sitting at the very top of the stairs, with the Archangel Gabriel giving her food.
Christian icons are of great value to all those who believe in God. Don’t forget to check our blog regularly in order not to miss our new posts about religious icons!