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Museum of Chora :: Joseph and the stick that indicates Mary

On the southern wall in the second section of the inner narthex of the Chora, stand the mosaics that depict the stick that grows green, indicating Mary as Joseph's fiance. Here, in front of a dais with a four -columned dome on top stands Zacchariah, holding in his right hand a sceptre with young shoots and buds. Mary shall be engaged to the one, whose stick becomes verdant. The stick that Zacchariah holds in his hand belongs to Joseph. As his stick became verdant, he is chosen as Mary's fiance. Beside Zacchariah stands Mary with a halo over her head. Against them, stands Joseph, and ten aged members of the church are behind him. Zacchariah will hand over Mary to Joseph as his fiance. As it is widely known, Mary's father Joachim had promised that if he had a child he would bring and leave that child to the temple. He kept his promise and brought his daughter to the temple. Mary, after serving God in the temple for ten years and reaching approximately the age of 14-15 , the priests in the temple announced that the time for her marriage had come. The candidates for the future , bridegroom shall spend the night at the temple, and the one whose stick becomes verdant and with young shoots, shall be chosen as Mary's fiance. The candidates assembled in the temple. Finally, the stick of Joseph, who is a carpenter from Nazareth, becomes green with shoots, and he is chosen as Mary's fiance. This theme is dealt with in the panel of mosaics.


Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Chora Byzantium's Shining Piece of Art".

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