|Date of Issue||November 2, 2020|
Our latest Christmas issue is a heart warming celebration of the Nativity designed by Toronto-based Soapbox Design and illustrated by Sandra Dionisi. Ideal for sending Christmas greetings to loved ones, the stamp captures a tender moment, as Mary and Joseph look lovingly at their newborn son. An ox and donkey, which often appear in depictions of the holy event, add layers of symbolism to the scene.
The two beasts of burden began to appear in artistic interpretations around the fourth century, even though they were not mentioned in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth. It is possible they were added to illustrate Isaiah’s prophecy: “The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib.” The pair also embody traits emphasized in Jesus’ teachings: the ox, endurance and sacrifice; the donkey, humility; and both, patience and service. Their presence in crèche scenes became common after St. Francis of Assisi included a live ox and donkey in his re-enactment of the Nativity in the 13th century. They are often shown gazing in adoration at the Christ Child – symbolizing the importance that all living creatures are attached to his birth.