The Family of Nazareth greeting cards
Size (in inches):4.375 x 5.9375 (A-6)
Inside Text:Blank inside.
Bible Verse:Luke 2:51a
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.
This sacred image depicts the home life of the Holy Family at Nazareth where St. Joseph provided for his family and taught his foster son the trade of carpentry. This scene is a model of Christian community based on prayer, teaching, work, sharing and love.
Icon greeting cards are single-fold cards printed on heavy stock, 4.38" x 5.93". The cards are blank inside for your own message or custom imprint and have an explanation of the history and symbolism of the icon printed on the back.
The Holy Family of Nazareth is an original composition by Sr. Marie Paul using traditional iconographic language. It depicts the home life of the Holy Family at Nazareth where St. Joseph provided for his family and taught his foster son the trade of carpentry. The scriptures offer us only a glimpse into the childhood of Jesus. After Christ’s presentation in the temple, St. Luke records: “…they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:39-40). At the age of 12 he accompanied his parents to the Passover festival in Jerusalem and was discovered in the temple listening to the teachers and asking them questions. This passage concludes with the remark “Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” (Luke 2:51) Sr. Marie Paul’s image is thus an imaginative reflection upon the home life of the Holy Family, weaving together various fragments of scriptural themes to produce a scene which is a model of Christian community based on prayer, teaching, work, sharing and love.
Theology and Symbolism
Mary shows her loving concern for Joseph by offering him a glass of water or milk, reminiscent of the passage “and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward" (Matthew 10:42). The Blessed Virgin is engaged in ordinary household work. Her basket of red yarn and knitting needles symbolizes the flesh that she has provided for the second person of the Trinity, suggestive of the Scriptures passages “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5), and “you knit me together in my mother's womb” (Psalm 139:13b). The three stars on Mary’s mantle represent her perpetual virginity.