Glossary

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Adoration of the Shepherds

According to the Gospel of Saint Luke, the shepherds were in the fields, watching their flocks, at the time of Christ's birth. After the angel appeared to them, they left their sheep and went immediately to see the Christ Child; they told Mary what the angel had said, which 'Mary pondered in her heart' (Luke 2:19).

In paintings of the scene the shepherds are frequently shown arriving hastily, carrying one or more lambs as offerings to the Child, though there is no mention of this in the Bible. They are usually depicted as roughly dressed with unidealised features.

 
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