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Feast of Annunciation

March 25

Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci
Detail from the painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

In Christianity, the Annunciation is the revelation to Mary, the mother of Jesus by the archangel Gabriel that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. The Christian churches celebrate this with the feast of Annunciation on March 25, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christmas.

The traditional location of the Annunciation is in the town of Nazareth, Israel, where is currently located the Church of the Annunciation. The Annunciation painting by Leonardo da Vinci is set in the enclosed courtyard garden of a Florentine villa. Archangel Gabriel holds to the Madonna a lily, a symbol of Mary's virginity and of the city of Florence. It is believed that Leonardo originally copied the wings from those of a bird in flight. The marble table in front of the Virgin probably resembles the one in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, that was sculpted by Verrocchio in this same period. The background shows a Harbour scene that is believed to be at Rome.

The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Catholic church year. It is usually observed on March 25th, nine months before Christmas, the birthday of Jesus. When this date falls during Holy Week, Easter Week or on a Sunday it is usually moved in the Catholic Church, Anglican and Lutheran liturgical calendars.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic Churches do not move the feast, having special combined liturgies for those years when the Annunciation coincides with another feast.




The Annunciation

Also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, this is a Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation.

Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "Saviour".

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