...the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
Icon of the Holy Family.
The Holy Family
In this beautiful icon of the Holy Family, we see the holiness of the
parents and their sense of wonder at their calling. Their heads are inclined
together in a posture of mutual support and affection. At the bottom of
the picture, three hands touch in unity and love. Joseph is portrayed as a
strong, handsome man, his arms protectively enveloping both Mary and
Jesus. His face shows love, but also concern. We can sense his wonder
and fear at being called to be the earthly father of the Son of God. Mary’s
face shows peaceful acceptance of her place as wife and mother. The
stars on her robe are symbols of her perpetual virginity. The Greek letters
in the upper left corner stand for Meter Theou, “Mother of God.” Those
in the upper right spell out “Saint Joseph.” Jesus is presented to us in a
posture of strength. Unlike the adults, He isn’t leaning on anyone. He is
their center and the center for all humanity. Christ looks directly into the
soul of the viewer, His hand raised in blessing. He wears a royal robe,
symbolic of His dominion over all the universe. On His halo, Greek
letters omicron, omega, nu, spell out “HO ON.” In English, this becomes
“Who Am,” the name used for God in Exodus 3:14.