Orthodox icon | Birth of the Mother of God.
The celebration of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8 emerged in the 6th/7th century, but it was only in the 9th century that the Eastern Church officially added it to its calendar. The Gospels provide minimal information, simply stating that Mary came from the House of David.
Non-canonical apocryphal stories detail Mary’s birth. They tell of Joachim and Anna’s answered prayers. These accounts also sketch Mary’s path to become the Mother of God.
The icon of Mary’s birth uses familiar nursery images. In it, St. Anne rests in bed after birth. Women from the area bring food and drinks. Midwives care for the newborn. Saint Joachim often watches from a door.
The background shows an abstract interior. In later years, this changed to modern furnished rooms. This change helps viewers picture these sacred events in their own homes.
The image of Mary’s birth begins a joyful and respectful journey. This journey leads to the important events of God through Christ. It also highlights the deep meaning of Mary’s birth. Mary was born to become the Mother of God.
God the Father actively bestows His blessings in the icon’s upper portion, with the Holy Spirit manifesting as a dove.
The icon’s sides portray a Saint Bishop, Saint Martyr Catherine the Great (celebrated on November 24), Saint Florus (celebrated on August 18), and another Saint Martyr, thus intensifying the icon’s sanctity and spiritual significance.