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The Annunciation, Russian icon, 14th century
L'Annonciation, icône russe, 14e siècle

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The Annunciation scene has been described in all its details in the Holy Scriptures, Luke 1, 26-38. God in his infinite mercy submits himself to the free decision of a pure immaculate young woman to realize his plan for saving the human race. And with her 'Yes' Mary makes all of that possible.
      Mary's 'Yes' is chanted in the Akathist Hymn, referred to by some as the most beautiful song of praise in honor of the Theotokos of all times. Here is the first of 24 strophes.
« An Archangel was sent from heaven to greet the Mother of God, and as he saw you assuming a body at the sound of his bodiless voice, O Lord, he stood rapt in amazement and cried out to her in these words:
      Hail, O you, through whom Joy will shine forth! Hail, O you, through whom the curse will disappear!
      Hail, O Restoration of the Fallen Adam! Hail, O Redemption of the Tears of Eve!
      Hail, O Peak above the reach of human thought! Hail, O Depth even beyond the sight of angels!
      Hail, O you who have become a Kingly Throne! Hail, O you who carry Him Who Carries All!
      Hail, O Star who manifest the Sun! Hail, O Womb of the Divine Incarnation!
      Hail, O you through whom creation is renewed! Hail, O you through whom the Creator becomes a Babe!
    Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! »

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