This incredibly detailed icon of the Nativity is filled with scenes.
In the upper left corner we see the Annunciation, and the Virgin Mary giving the news of the incarnation to St. Joseph, and the angel reassures Joseph about Mary's conception. In the upper right corner, they register in Joseph's hometown of Bethlehem.
In the upper middle portion of the icon, we see the core events of the Christmas story. The magi, shepherds, and angels come to worship the Lord. Midwives bathe the infant Christ, while Joseph still struggles with his questions about these events.
In the lower middle area, the magi appear to King Herod, who dispatches soldiers to slaughter the Holy Innocents, the scene depicted in the lower left corner. In the center of the bottom row, Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, is hid from the soldiers by his mother in a cleft. An angel warns Joseph in a dream to flee, and he takes the Virgin and Christ to Egypt.
This icon, with its many scenes, makes an ideal teaching tool as well as a beautiful point of veneration of the feast of our Lord's birth.
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