NB: Interpreting the Nativity Icon.

Nativity of the Savior from Iviron Monastery.  http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/nativity-savior-iviron-monastery-01.jpg


Ikons are not only “Windows to Heaven” – they also tell a story, if one understands the symbolism. A few things about the Nativity Ikon:



The Christ child is shown wrapped in a burial shroud from head to toe – NOT swaddling clothes! This reminds us that He was born in order to die for us.


In the lower left corner, Joseph is sometimes shown. He is being tempted by the Devil concerning Mary’s pregnancy:

“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.”   (Mat 1:18-19)


An entire homily recently given (audio) was based mostly on this event




“NB” is shorthand for “nota bene” ,which is Latin for “Note well”. These shorter posts are meant to be “noted well” more often because they are briefer than the usual blog posts. I have “noted well”  that many of my flock does do not read the longer posts. I have a lot of stuff to tell you, so there will still be longer posts, but I also plan to post shorter “snippets” which will have “NB:” in the title.



1 comment

  1. I think that St. Joseph really redeemed himself because he was obedient to the angel’s directions. Obedience is the most highly valued virtue by God.

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