Annunciation
Overview
 
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 celebration of the announcement by the angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive
Fertilisation
Fertilisation is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism. In animals, the process involves the fusion of an ovum with a sperm, which eventually leads to the development of an embryo...

 and become the mother of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "Saviour". Many Christians observe this event with the Feast
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of the Annunciation on 25 March, nine full months
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

 before Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

.
Encyclopedia
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 celebration of the announcement by the angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive
Fertilisation
Fertilisation is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism. In animals, the process involves the fusion of an ovum with a sperm, which eventually leads to the development of an embryo...

 and become the mother of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "Saviour". Many Christians observe this event with the Feast
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of the Annunciation on 25 March, nine full months
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

 before Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

. According to , the Annunciation to Mary occurred "in the sixth month" of Elisabeth's
Elizabeth (Biblical person)
Elizabeth is also spelled Elisabeth or Elisheva...

 pregnancy with the child later called John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

.

Approximating the northern vernal equinox, the date of the Annunciation also marked the New Year
New Year
The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

 in many places, including England, where it is called Lady Day
Lady Day
In the western Liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in some English speaking countries. It is the first of the four traditional English quarter days. The "Lady" was the Virgin Mary. The term derives from Middle English, when some...

. Both the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

es hold that the Annunciation took place at Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

, but differ as to the precise location. The Church of the Annunciation
Church of the Annunciation
The Church of the Annunciation , sometimes also referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation is a church in Nazareth, in modern-day northern Israel.-History:...

 marks the site preferred by the former, while the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, also known as the Church of St. Gabriel or St. Gabriel's Greek Orthodox Church, is an Eastern Orthodox church in Nazareth, Israel...

 marks that preferred by the latter.

The Annunciation has been a key topic in Christian art
Christian art
Christian art is sacred art produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity, though other definitions are possible. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of...

 in general, as well as in Roman Catholic Marian art, particularly during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

The Annunciation in the Bible

In the Bible, the Annunciation is narrated in the book of Luke, :
Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.


A separate annunciation, which is more brief but in the same vein as the one in Luke, is given to Joseph in :
Matthew 1:18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Eastern traditions

In Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 Mary is referred to as Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

 (Θεοτόκος="God-bearer"). The traditional Troparion
Troparion
A troparion in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas. The word probably derives from a diminutive of the Greek tropos...

 (hymn for the day) of the Annunciation which goes back to Saint Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria [b. ca. – d. 2 May 373] is also given the titles St. Athanasius the Great, St. Athanasius I of Alexandria, St Athanasius the Confessor and St Athanasius the Apostolic. He was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His long episcopate lasted 45 years Athanasius of Alexandria [b....

 is:
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"


The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the church year. As the action initiating the Incarnation of Christ
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

, Annunciation has such an important place in Eastern theology that the Festal Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 of St. John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom , Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic...

 is always celebrated on March 25, regardless of what day it falls on—even if it falls on Pascha
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 (Easter Sunday) itself, a coincidence which is called Kyriopascha. The only time the Divine Liturgy may be celebrated on Great and Holy Friday is if it falls on March 25. Due to this, the rubrics regarding the celebration of the feast are the most complicated of all in Eastern liturgics. The Annunciation is called Euangelismos (Evangelism) in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, literally meaning "spreading the Good News".

St. Ephraim the Syrian taught that the date of the conception of Jesus Christ fell on 10 Nisan on the Hebrew Calendar, the day in which the passover lamb was selected according to Exodus 12. Some years 10 Nisan falls on March 25, which is the tradition date for the Feast of the Annunciation.

Related dates

In the Catholic Church, Anglican
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, and Lutheran liturgical calendars, the feast is moved if necessary to prevent it from falling during Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

 or Easter Week
Easter Week
Easter Week is the period of seven days from Easter Sunday through the Saturday following.-Western Church:In the Latin Rite of Roman Catholicism, Anglican and other Western churches, Easter Week is the week beginning with the Christian feast of Easter and ending a week later on Easter Saturday...

 or on a Sunday. To avoid a Sunday before Holy Week, the next day (March 26) would be observed instead. In years such as 2008 when March 25 falls during Holy Week or Easter Week, the Annunciation is moved to the Monday after Octave of Easter
Octave of Easter
The term Octave of Easter may refer either to the eight day period from Easter Sunday until the Sunday following Easter, inclusive; or it may refer only to that Sunday after Easter, the Octave Day of Easter . That Sunday is also known historically as St...

, which is the Sunday after Easter.

It might be thought that with a very early Easter, the feast of St Joseph would be displaced from 19 March to the Monday after Easter week, thus displacing the Annunciation to the Tuesday. However, in the Roman Catholic calendar, if the Feast of St Joseph, normally falling on March 19, must also be moved as a consequence of Easter falling on one of its earliest possible dates, it is moved to an earlier rather than a later date. This will normally be the Saturday before Holy Week. (This change was announced by the Congregation for Divine Worship
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is the congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical practices of the Latin Catholic Church as distinct from the Eastern Catholic Churches and also some technical matters relating to the...

 in Notitiae March–April, 2006 (475-476, page 96).) In the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, it is moved to the Tuesday after Easter Week, following the Annunciation on the Monday, which is of higher rank and takes precedence.

The Eastern churches (Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Oriental
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

 and Eastern Catholic) do not move the feast of the Annunciation under any circumstance. They have special combined liturgies for those years when the Annunciation coincides with another feast. In these churches, even on Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 a Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 is celebrated when it coincides with the Annunciation. One of the most frequent accusations brought against New Calendarism
New calendarists
The New calendarists are those Eastern Orthodox Churches that adopted the Revised Julian calendar, namely the Orthodox churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and most of the Orthodox Church in America...

 is the fact that in the New Calendar churches (which celebrate the Annunciation according to the New Calendar
Revised Julian calendar
The Revised Julian calendar, also known as the Rectified Julian calendar, or, less formally, New calendar, is a calendar, originated in 1923, which effectively discontinued the 340 years of divergence between the naming of dates sanctioned by those Eastern Orthodox churches adopting it and the...

, but Easter according to the Old Calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

), these special Liturgies can never be celebrated any more, since the Annunciation is always long before Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

 on the New Calendar. The Old Calendarists believe that this impoverishes the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church.

The date is close to the vernal equinox, as Christmas is to the winter solstice
Winter solstice
Winter solstice may refer to:* Winter solstice, astronomical event* Winter Solstice , former band* Winter Solstice: North , seasonal songs* Winter Solstice , 2005 American film...

; because of this the Annunciation and Christmas were two of the four "Quarter days
Quarter days
In British and Irish tradition, the quarter days were the four dates in each year on which servants were hired, and rents were due. They fell on four religious festivals roughly three months apart and close to the two solstices and two equinoxes....

" in medieval and early modern England, which marked the divisions of the fiscal year (the other two were Midsummer Day, or the Nativity of St. John the Baptist—June 24—and Michaelmas
Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

, the feast day of St. Michael
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

, on September 29).

When the calendar system of Anno Domini
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

 was first introduced by Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor, modern Dobruja shared by Romania and Bulgaria. He was a member of the Scythian monks community concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor...

 in AD 525, he assigned the beginning of the new year
New Year
The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

 to March 25, since according to Catholic theology, the era of grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

 began with the Incarnation of Christ.

The first authentic allusions to it are in a canon
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

, of the Council of Toledo
Councils of Toledo
Councils of Toledo . From the 5th century to the 7th century, about thirty synods, variously counted, were held at Toledo in what would come to be part of Spain. The earliest, directed against Priscillianism, assembled in 400. The "third" synod of 589 marked the epoch-making conversion of King...

 (656), and another of the Council of Constantinople "in Trullo
Quinisext Council
The Quinisext Council was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It is often known as the Council in Trullo, because it was held in the same domed hall where the Sixth Ecumenical Council had met...

" (692), forbidding the celebration of any festivals during Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

, excepting the Lord's Day
Lord's Day
Lord's Day is a Christian name for Sunday, the day of communal worship. It is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of...

 (Sunday) and the Feast of the Annunciation. An earlier origin has been claimed for it on the ground that it is mentioned in sermons of Athanasius
Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria [b. ca. – d. 2 May 373] is also given the titles St. Athanasius the Great, St. Athanasius I of Alexandria, St Athanasius the Confessor and St Athanasius the Apostolic. He was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His long episcopate lasted 45 years Athanasius of Alexandria [b....

 and of Gregory Thaumaturgus
Gregory Thaumaturgus
Gregory Thaumaturgus, also known as Gregory of Neocaesarea or Gregory the Wonderworker, was a Christian bishop of the 3rd century.-Biography:Gregory was born at Neo-Caesarea around 213 A.D...

, but both of these documents are now admitted to be spurious. A Synod of Worcester
Synod of Worcester
The Synod of Worcester was conducted by the Bishop of Worcester, England, Walter de Cantilupe on July 26, 1240. The diocesan synod was held in his cathedral. A number of statutes were settled regarding godparents, the life of the clergy and lay people. Among these were that godparents must be three...

, England (1240), forbade all servile work on this feast day. See further Lady Day
Lady Day
In the western Liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in some English speaking countries. It is the first of the four traditional English quarter days. The "Lady" was the Virgin Mary. The term derives from Middle English, when some...

.

The Annunciation in the Qur'an

The Annunciation is also described in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, in Sura 3 (Al-i-Imran - The Family of Imran) verses 45-51 (archaic translation):


45Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

And Sura 19 (Maryam - Mary)
Maryam (sura)
Sura Maryam is the 19th sura of the Qur'an and is a Makkan sura with 98 ayat . It is named after Maryām, the actual name for Mary, Mother of Jesus . The popular variant of the name Maryam, Mary, is a Westernized or Anglicized version...

 verses 16-26 also refers to it. Muslim tradition holds that the Annunciation took place during the month of Ramadan
Ramadan (calendar month)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed.Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, and fasting in this month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to...

.

Annunciation in Christian art

The Annunciation is one of the most frequent subjects of artistic representation in both the Christian East and as Roman Catholic Marian art, particularly during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, and figures in the repertoire of almost all of the great masters. The figures of the virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel, being emblematic of purity and grace, were favorite subjects of Roman Catholic Marian art. Works on the subject have been created by artists such as Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

, Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, Caravaggio
Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

, Duccio
Duccio
Duccio di Buoninsegna was one of the most influential Italian artists of his time. Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and like most of his contemporaries painted religious subjects...

 and Murillo
Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

 among others. The mosaics of Pietro Cavallini
Pietro Cavallini
Pietro Cavallini was an Italian painter and mosaic designer working during the late Middle Ages. Little is known about his biography, though it is known he was from Rome, since he signed pictor romanus....

 in Santa Maria in Trastevere
Santa Maria in Trastevere
The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is a titular minor basilica, one of the oldest churches in Rome, and perhaps the first in which mass was openly celebrated...

 in Rome (1291), the fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s of Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 (1303), Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

's fresco at the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 (1486), and Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

's gilded sculpture at the church of Santa Croce, Florence (1435) are famous examples.

See also

  • Angelus
    Angelus
    The Angelus is a Christian devotion in memory of the Incarnation. The name Angelus is derived from the opening words: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ The Angelus (Latin for "angel") is a Christian devotion in memory of the Incarnation. The name Angelus is derived from the opening words: Angelus...

  • Chronology of Jesus
    Chronology of Jesus
    The chronology of Jesus aims to establish a historical order for some of the events of the life of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. The Christian gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute...

  • Gabriel
    Gabriel
    In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

  • Fleur de lys
    Fleur de Lys
    Fleur de Lys is a superheroine from Quebec and an ally of Northguard, created in 1984 by Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette. The name of the character is inspired by the heraldic symbol of the fleur de lys. It is the official emblem of Quebec and a prominent part of the Flag of Quebec...

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    Incarnation (Christianity)
    The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

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    Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
    The Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation is an order of chivalry, or knighthood, originating in mediæval Italy. It eventually was the pinnacle of the honours system in the Kingdom of Italy, which ceased to be a national order when the kingdom became a republic in 1946...

  • Maryland Day
    Maryland Day
    Maryland Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is observed on the anniversary of the March 25, 1634, landing of settlers in the Province of Maryland. On this day settlers from The Ark and The Dove first stepped foot onto Maryland soil, at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River...

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    Church of the Annunciation
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    Seven Joys of the Virgin
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    Our Lady of Sorrows
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External links


Gabriel announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus
Life of Jesus
Gospel harmony
A Gospel harmony is an attempt to merge or harmonize the canonical gospels of the Four Evangelists into a single gospel account, the earliest known example being the Diatesseron by Tatian in the 2nd century. A gospel harmony may also establish a chronology for the events of the life of Jesus...

: Conception of Jesus
New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....


Events

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