Q: What is the first representation of Mary's betrothal to Joseph?
The earliest extant representations of Mary's betrothal with Joseph both
in East and West are dated around the fifth century. In the Western Church
the oldest extant sample can be seen in the museum of Le Puy, France
(4/5c). We are dealing here with the relief of a sarcophagus. It
represents the veiled Mary putting her left hand in Joseph's right hand.
Behind the figures of Mary and Joseph there is the figure of an angel with
halo and scroll, a reference probably to Juno Pronuba appearing in similar
representations of classical antiquity to assist the couple and validate
their union. The oldest extant example in the Eastern tradition (5c) is to
be found in Venice (columns of the tabernacle in San Marco).
Please note that the lovely image to the left is not the image mentioned above. When
The Mary Page
locates the image, we will post it.
Please note that the lovely image to the left is not the image mentioned above. When The Mary Page locates the image, we will post it.
For more information see:
The Feast of St. Joseph FAQ 25
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