The Cestello Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, Uffizi, Florence – [PD-US-Expired]

Allesandro di Mariano di Vanni Filippi (c1445 – May 17, 1510) known as Sandro Botticelli, an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance, belonged to the “golden age” of the “Florentine School” under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Botticelli lived his whole life int he same neighborhood of  Florence except for some time spent in Pisa in 1474 and in painting part of the Sistine Chapel in Rome in 1481-82.

By Pope Benedict XVI, Public Catechesis, January 4 2012:


We are in the liturgical Time of Christmas, which begins on the evening of 24 December with the Vigil Mass and ends with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. The span of days is short but full of celebrations and mysteries, and it all takes place around the two great Solemnities of the Lord: Christmas and Epiphany.

The very names of these two feasts indicate their respective traits. Christmas celebrates the historical event of Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem. Epiphany, which came into being as a feast in the East, indicates an event, but above all one aspect of the Mystery: God reveals himself in the human nature of Christ, and this is the meaning of the Greek verb epiphaino, to make oneself visible. In this perspective, Epiphany calls to mind a whole series of events focused on the manifestation of the Lord: in a special way the adoration of the Magi, who recognize Jesus as the Messiah awaited, but also the Baptism in the River Jordan with its theophany— the voice of God from on high—and the miracle of the Wedding at Cana, as the first “sign” worked by Christ…

…to be continued…


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Reprinted from Inside the Vatican magazine, December 2019