Orthodox icon | Annunciation of the Mother of God | 24640.
The Annunciation to the Mother of God is a significant Christian image that marks the beginning of the Incarnation of the Son of God. It holds a prominent place in the cycle of images depicting the life of Jesus. In this scene, Gabriel, the messenger of God, delivers the news of the impending birth of Emmanuel (“God with us”).
Gabriel announces that they will name the child ‘great,’ the ‘Son of the Highest,’ and he will inherit his father David’s throne to rule over the house of Jacob forever. As the Holy Spirit descends upon Mary, the Highest’s power will envelope her, leading to the birth of the holy-begotten Son of God.
On icons depicting the Annunciation, a silent dialogue unfolds through the eyes and hands of the angel and the Mother of God. Mary can raise her hand, expressing restraint and distance, or place her hand on her chest, indicating approval and devotion.
The depiction gains more life with the angel advancing towards Mary, who frequently sits on a royal throne. Iconography inspired by the Proto-Gospel of James depicts the Annunciation at a fountain, known as the pre-announcement, or when the angel enters the room where Mary is weaving the temple curtain.
The Feast day of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th. Above the scene, the icon often includes a depiction of God Sabaoth receiving blessings.
Saints on the edge:
On the edge of the icon, a Holy Guardian Angel is typically portrayed.
Another figure depicted on the icon is Saint Great Martyr Panteleimon, celebrated on July 27th. He was a doctor, martyr, and renowned helper in times of need.
Panteleimon, originally named Pantoléon, was born in Nicomedia (present-day İzmit, Turkey) in the late 3rd century. Even as a child, he displayed healing powers. This was displayed when he revived a dead child bitten by a snake by calling upon the name of Jesus.
The imperial physician Euphrosynus trained him in medicine, and the priest Hermolaus baptized him. Emperor Diocletian chose him to serve as his personal physician. As the revered patron saint of doctors, wet nurses, midwives, and pharmacists, Panteleimon features prominently in iconography. The icon represents him actively engaged in his medical role, with a medicine box and an ointment spatula in hand, symbolizing his healing prowess.