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PHOTO/ The Annunciation: Portrait of the Incarnation

In the Annunciation, the fate of the world hangs on Mary's answer:  the moment is captured by artists across the ages, in wood, stained glass, stone and canvas.

photo by Sharon Mollerus photo by Sharon Mollerus

The Annunciation is the beginning of the Christian mystery, the first  meditation of the rosary and often the first panel of a religious art series.  The angel delivers the message and awaits the answer that will lift up the world.  Each of the following images, of stained glass, wood, stone and canvas, offer a portrait of the moment when Christ took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
For with God nothing will be impossible."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. "
(Luke 1:26-38)