The Annunciation Icon
According to the Church Fathers, the obedience of the Holy Theotokos to God's calling reverses the consequences of Eve's first disobediance to His commandment. The Feast of the Annunciation was the first feast to be honored liturgically, and when the date of this event was identified, it became the starting point of what is called the Nativity cycle.
In this icon, Archangel Gabriel is the represented in swift motion as God's messenger and also holds in his left hand a staff, the ancient symbol of a messenger. His right hand extends toward the Mother of God in both greeting and communion. Seated to emphasize her superiority over the Angel, the virgin accepts God's calling with her arms raised in a gesture of submission.