Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Archangel Gabriel and The Lily

In the traditional Roman Catholic calendar, today is the feast day of the Archangel Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation. Gabriel is often depicted as presenting a lily to the Virgin Mary on that occasion. For this reason, the Lilium Candidum is called the Annunciation Lily. It is also known by other names related to Mary, such as the Madonna Lily.

Solomon's Canticle of Canticles, 2:2, "As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters," can be understood as referring to the Virgin Mary as well as to the Church.

The image above is The Annunciation (ca. 1489) by Pietro Perugino.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims version.   For another lovely image of Archangel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation, see the post Silence, Annunciation, Incarnation.

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