As one enters the church, the first large window on the left depicts the annunciation to the Virgin Mary, as related in the Gospel of Luke, that she is to become the Mother of Jesus. She looks up at an angel with face, hands and posture indicating submission to the will of God. Mary is depicted in her traditional clothing: a blue robe (with embroidery at the edge) over a white undergarment. Blue is the color of the sky and it, and the five stars in her halo (a possible reference to the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary) may be inspired by the attribution to her in the liturgy of the words of the Book of Revelations. The white garment nearest her body probably refers to her spiritual virtue and bodily virginity, qualities which are symbolized by lilies, three (for Faith, Hope, and Charity) in the medallion at the top of the window and in the hands of the angel. Lilies are also found in the vase at the bottom left of the picture. Some of them are buds, probably referring to the Child Jesus, who is to be born. There are also roses in the vase, another flower traditional to the Virgin, whose red color and thorns signify the suffering which she was to undergo in her role as Mother of God. Mary has been praying the Scriptures and is kneeling at a praying bench known as a “prie dieu” (French for “pray [to] God”). The artist has thoughtfully provided her with a pretty red cushion, which protrudes out from beneath her garments.
In order for there to be an annunciation there has to be an announcer and that’s the angel, Gabriel. He has three stars in his halo (symbolizing the Trinity for whom he works) and is arrayed in a lovely brown robe. To his right and slightly higher, the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove with a radiant halo, surrounded by a stylized cloud and with the rays of Divine Grace emanating from Him to the Virgin, conceiving within her the Savior. Below the picture, a medallion portrays a stylized “A” and “R” for Ave Regina (Hail! Queen of Heaven). The letters are separated by what appears to be a column, or it may be a stylized staff entwined by serpents, the one set up by Moses in the Desert to cure the Children of Israel. John’s Gospel has Jesus paralleling this lifting up of the serpent to his own lifting up on the Cross, healing us from our sins, and that may be why it is here.