The Archangel Gabriel in this icon announces to the Holy Virgin Theotokos the most miraculous news ever known in history?that she will conceive and bear Emmanuel, God Incarnate with us. She is seen here inside her house in Nazareth, standing up from her seat in respect as she listens to St. Gabriel. The Holy Virgin had a very human will, as we all share with her our humanity, yet she was able to carefully choose to unite her human frailty to God in love, and in this love to listen and follow God’s Will better than any of us have done, except for her perfect and Holy Divine Son.
We can easily overlook that this conscious uniting of her will was always a free choice, even though what she learns here is impossible for human thought to understand. It was a great leap of Faith, and an active willingness to do whatever God would ask. This deeply prayerful, conscious, attentive will and choice?this active cooperation, and sweet willingness and love?are hallmarks of the Virgin Mary and what has set her unique position within the Church, “more honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim…thee do we magnify.”