Christmas is coming. This is the time when we feel our souls to be thirsty for love and kindness more than ever. We recognize the need and value the comfort and warmth that give us our home and loved ones. In the spirit of those magical days before Christmas the Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of the Christian family.
The biblical narrative takes us further into the depths of history in the family of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the righteous parents of St. Mary. Even before her birth they gave a promise to God that when Mary turned 3 years they will devote her in to spiritual practice. When this day arrived, with flowers and songs, St. Anne and St. Joachim took Mary solemnly to the Jerusalem temple. The child alone ran up the temple' stairs, where she met the priest Zechariah. St. Anne and St. Joachim rejoiced. The family was blessed to dedicate their little daughter in the service of God.
The orthodox icon put out on this holiday presents the 3 - year-old St. Mary, mounting the steps and entering the temple. This representation of the biblical event aims to inspire the Christians to lead their children in the temple of God, to teach them to pray and strive for better.
The icons' content is a true spiritual guide of the Christian living. They reveal the sacredness of the world and strive for life in harmony. The icon itself is a prayer, and prayer is a conversation with God. By praying we transcend of the earthly doings and become spiritual in our celebration and solemn. So on the day of the Christian family, let us enter the temple and pray in front of the holy icon "Presentation of the Virgin Mary" for the health of our close people and for more good thoughts and deeds. "The kingdom of God is within us" is said in the Scriptures, i.e Virtue is not created outside of us, it just waits for our willingness.
Ivanka Deleva, Curator Department "History", Regional History Museum Burgas