Betty Byerley Retablo Collection

La Annuncianción o La Alma de María/The Annunciate or the Soul of Mary

The Annunciate shows the Virgin at the moment of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel that she would bear the Son of God. As related in Luke 1:26-38, the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: “Hail, full of grace, to whom is given grace, favored one, the Lord is with thee. Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

In retablo art Mary is crowned with roses and in this piece they are held in her left arm as well. The Virgin has been called a “rose without thorns” or a “lily among thorns” to symbolize her purity and exemption from the sins of the world. Hence, the lily is considered to be the Virgin’s flower. In addition to the symbolic lilies, is the dove, which represents the Holy Spirit.