This is a VITA icon
of the Nativity of Christ.
Banner Measures: 10 1/4" x 7 3/4",
Including Wooden Parts 8 3/4" wide,
Including hanger part from top to bottom: 14" tall
A "VITA" icon is a religious painting containing a central image of a feast saint surrounded by smaller images related to the central panel.
CENTRAL IMAGE: From heaven a beacon of light (a star) enters the 'cave' symbolizing the ever presence of the Holy Spirit now and at the Incarnation of the Christ. The rays extend over the manager holding the Christ Child - dressed in swaddling clothes prefigure his burial shroud. Mary the Mother of God
beholds the Child with mystery and awe holding her hands upraised in the traditional Eastern manner of prayer. In the darkness of the cave are an ox and donkey representing Christ's coming to the Jewish (Kosher) and Gentle (non-Kosher) people. The holiness of this scene is presence of angels singing the praises of God.
CLOCKWISE - The angels appearing to the shepherds.
The angel appearing in a dream to Joseph urging him to accept Mary
The Virgin with maidens taking care of the Christ Child
The Wise Men seeking the Christ Child