SYMBOLS THAT STAND FOR VIRGIN MARY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1- The Tabernacle of Faith: Where God made His presence among His people, and where the pillar of fire came down and rested upon the most holy altar where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.
2- The Ark of the Covenant: It was made of shittim wood that cannot be affected by moth, and was plated with gold. This is a symbol of the sanctity of the Virgin and the dignity of Her status.
3- The Gold Incenser-Holder: The combination of the live-coals with fire inside the incense-holder is a symbol of the unity of the state of God and the human one. The scented smell of the incense is a symbol of the Virgin's chaste life..... It also stands for the elevation of our prayers to the heaven.
4- The Bush: the bush that burnt with fire and was not consumed is a symbol of the Virgin in whose womb the Godly fire rested yet She was not consumed.
One of the best sayings in this respect is Agregoryas's statement that "the status of the Virgin among the humans is akin to that of the pearl among common stones." Likori also said, "Mother, I don't like it to be said that someone loved you more than I do."
THE VIRGIN'S PICTURE
The first to draw a picture for the Virgin was St. Luke (who wrote 'The Gospel according to St. Luke' and 'The Acts of the Apostles'). St. Luke was a doctor and a painter.
Before, St. Luke had carved the likeness on wood and then painted many pictures that went into the possession of the Roman Emperors, and the Empress Pulcheria.
The oldest pictures for the Virgin are to be found at El-Ezbaweya Church (in Cairo) and at El-Seryan monastery in El-Natroun Valley (in Egypt).
The Virgin's picture is always placed to the left of the altar and to the left of Christ as "The Queen sat on the right of the King." (Ps 45:9)