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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 03/25/08 10:46:43 AM

The Annunciation of the Lord

Nine months before Christmas Day.

The story as told in the Gospel of Luke:

"In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, 'Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.' But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?' And the angel said to her in reply, 'The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.' Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.' Then the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38 NAB)

And the story as told by one of the great masters of art:

The Annunciation, Bl. Giovanni da Fiesole, circa 1426
The Annunciation, Bl. Giovanni da Fiesole, circa 1426

On The Annunciation Of Fra Angelico

The silver carolling of Matins woke
   The angel artist from his couch to paint,
   While round him throng a rosy chorus quaint
Of cherubs waiting on his brush's stroke.
They guide his hand to set the snowy light
   On Mary's brow and o'er her lovely cheeks,
   To show the eyes wherein her pureness speaks,
To limn her slender fingers amber-white.

Their angel wings unto his eyes they hold
   So he may copy of their child-like snows
The plumes of him who brought her message here;
Who rays, amid his pearly vestment stoled,
   His light upon the Virgin's breast of rose,
Like vivid sunburst on some crystal sphere.

Manuel Machado (1874-1947)
tr. from Spanish by Thomas Walsh

The Catholic Anthology: The World's Great Catholic Poetry (revised edition, 1940), ed. Thomas Walsh and George N. Shuster, p. 395.

Note: the Annunciation was a frequent subject of Fra Angelico, and I am unsure whether this particular work is actually the painting Machado wrote about. (It is the central panel of an altar piece painted for the Convent of St. Dominic, in the Blessed's hometown of Fiesole, and now in the Museo Nacional de Prado, Madrid.) On the other hand, I don't know that Machado was thinking of one painting in particular, either.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Tue. 03/25/08 10:46:43 AM
Categorized as Literary & Photos & Religious.


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