A Month of Christmas: Childermas, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the Book of Hours

The Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas or Innocents’ Day is a Christian feast held on December 28 in the Western Church and December 29 in the Eastern Church in remembrance of the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem by Herod the Great — king of Judea — in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Childermas, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the Book of Hours

A Month of Christmas: The Madonna and Child

A Madonna (Italian: [maˈdɔnna]) is a representation of Mary, either alone or with her child Jesus. These images are central icons for both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The word is from Italian ma donna, meaning ‘my lady’. The Madonna and Child type is very prevalent in Christian iconography, divided into many traditional subtypes especially in Eastern Orthodox iconography, often known after the location of … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Madonna and Child

A Month of Christmas: Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. The Annunciation to the Shepherds, when … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Adoration of the Shepherds

A Month of Christmas: Adoration of the Magi & Albrecht Dürer

The Adoration of the Magi or Adoration of the Kings is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. It is related in the Bible by Matthew 2:11: … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Adoration of the Magi & Albrecht Dürer

A Month of Christmas: The Nativity and the Grabow Altarpiece

Taking a look through my Christmas stamps in preparation for this “Month of Christmas” series, I noticed that the vast majority show scenes from the Nativity with significantly more images of the Madonna and Child than the Adoration of the Magi or the Adoration of the Shepherds. Portrayals of Santa Claus, gifts, Christmas trees, and reindeer are in the minority. Ironically, I have never been … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: The Nativity and the Grabow Altarpiece

Suriname #335 (1966)

Suriname #335 (1966)

The Republic of Suriname (Republiek Suriname in Dutch), is a sovereign state on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Suriname is situated between French Guiana to the east and Guyana to the west. The southern border is shared with Brazil and the northern border is the Atlantic coast. The southernmost borders with French Guiana and Guyana are disputed by these countries along the Marowijne and … Continue reading Suriname #335 (1966)

Roman States #4c (1852)

Roman States #4c (1852)

The Papal States, officially the State of the Church (Stato della Chiesa in Italian or Status Ecclesiae in Latin), were territories in the Italian Peninsula under the sovereign direct rule of the pope, from the eighth century until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy until the Italian Peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. At their zenith, they covered … Continue reading Roman States #4c (1852)