Exploring the History of Medicine, Part 45: Florence, Part 25

July 1, 2024


Uffizi Gallery

7. Annunciation

In the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci created his first solo work around the age of 20.

Using perspective, he beautifully depicted the subject matter written in the New Testament of Christianity.

In front of the Virgin Mary (on the right), the angel Gabriel (on the left) descends, announcing to Mary that she has conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit, and Mary accepts it.

I'll excerpt from the New Testament, "Luke, Chapter 1," which I have on hand.


The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a virgin named Mary who lived in Nazareth.

Mary was engaged to Joseph.

The angel approached Mary and said, "You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"

And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." Then Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.


As you all know well, pregnancy occurs when sperm and egg fuse (fertilization), and then pregnancy is established when the fertilized egg implants in the endometrium of the uterus.

According to the New Testament, the Holy Spirit caused the conception of the Son of God in the virgin Mary's womb before she married Joseph.

Eventually, Mary gave birth to that child and named him Jesus.

Christians all over the world believe this without doubt and celebrate Christmas grandly on December 25th, the day Jesus was born.

Even in Japan, a Buddhist country, many people celebrate Christmas as an annual event without knowing it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Many people seem to think that the child born from the union of Mary and her husband Joseph is Jesus, but that is not the case.

It is crucial to understand that Mary became the mother of Jesus while remaining a virgin.

The white lily carried by the angel symbolizes Mary's purity and chastity, as well as being a symbol of Florence.

The name "Mary" means "beloved by God" in Hebrew.

In the world, she is often called "Virgin Mary," "the Virgin," "Saint Mary," "Santa Maria," "Our Lady," "the Madonna," and many other names, rather than "Holy Mother."

The term "Notre Dame" of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France also refers to the Virgin Mary, meaning "Our Lady."

Speaking of which, there is a Beatles song called "Lady Madonna."

This, too, refers to the Virgin Mary.

Perhaps because Paul McCartney's mother's name was Mary, he has a great affection for the Virgin Mary.

Similarly, “Mother Mary” also appears in the famous song “Let it be” that he created.

The names "Mary" and "Maria" are the most common female names worldwide, naturally associated with the Virgin Mary.

In Japan, there are many women with names pronounced "Mari" or "Maria," such as Mariko, Mari, Maria, Marika, etc.


It's clear that the Virgin Mary is also loved in Japan.