Icon of the Annunciation (Ustiug) (Kiev, early 12th c.) – F122


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Church Feast Day 1


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Egg Tempera


Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia




12th c. (Early)


This icon is originally from St. George’s Cathedral in Yuriev Monastery, Novgorod.   It is called the Ustiug Annunciation, and shows the great Archangel Gabriel speaking with the Virgin Mary Theotokos about the impending Mystery of the Incarnation of God as fully Man in her womb by the Holy Spirit, which will leave her still a virgin and her vow to remain so intact and thus fulfilled.  This is a Mystery that requires her full cooperation to accept and believe that this miracle can happen, for with God all things are possible.  The Virgin agrees and so God is born.

Often we think of God’s Will incompletely, as our minds in an unrenewed state find it hard to understand how this Will manifests itself in this fallen and imperfect world.  God’s Will is good and complete at all times and extends towards all beings, but many here on earth will not accept it or cooperate with it.  Because God allows our free will to exist without coercion, we are not forced to agree or accept God’s good Will.  When we oppose His Will, He at times allows this, but changes circumstances so that through His Providence, good can still come to all in spite of contrariness.