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Merry Christmas, Katrina.
Merry Christmas Rosario! And the kid!
Merry Christmas, my child.
Merry Christmas, Crescat. I have an art question. Every year, my former thesis adviser sends me some version of the same Orthodox icon that you have here as a Christmas card. I have one in front of me right now; it arrived yesterday. Looks just like yours, only different actual pictures. But the same arrangement, very similar. There’s an explanation on the back. Of the lower left-hand corner, it says, “In the lower left corner of the ikon, Joseph, the Virgin’s betrothed, ponders the mystery of this birth. He is shown separate from the Mother and Child, indicating that he is not the Child’s father.” That’s it. What it doesn’t explain is why there appear to be two images of Joseph. One sitting and one standing with a stick or cane. (It looks more like a rope in yours.) Or is the one standing someone other than Joseph? But who else could he be, and why does he look like he’s talking to Joseph?
Oy vey! Does the sender of the card write that or is it printed in the card by the manufacturer as a provided explanation… because it’s wrong.
Joseph is pictured being tempted by Satan to leave Mary when he finds out she is pregnant and he knows the Child is not his. The old man is the devil.
That makes _much_ more sense! The explanation on my card is printed by the manufacturer, which appears to be St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, or someone hired by them.
Now I know why the old man with the staff (or rope) looks so scruffy. He’s Satan. Thanks!!
Could you also, please, explain the image in the bottom right? Obviously we see The Madonna and Christ Child but what is the symbolism of the other woman and the well? Thanks
Those are the two midwives washing Christ. This is important bc it shows Christ was born in the normal way – human way – and would need washing after being born. It was a common heresy that Christ would not have been born in a human way if he was truly divine.