Anna and Joachim, both marked with halos brought the three-year-old Maria to the temple. She is brought to the exalted high priest Zacharias by virgins.
Joachim and Anna had vowed to introduce their daughter Maria to the temple as one of the temple virgins at the child’s age of three, a story that can be found in two apocryphal books. On November 20, 543, Emperor Justinian founded a Church of St. Mary in Jerusalem. The festival itself on November 21 does not appear in the Orthodox church calendar until the middle of the 12th century. Depictions of Mary’s temple passage gradually gained acceptance in monumental and icon painting after the picture dispute in the 9th century, only to enjoy general popularity in the High Middle Ages. As an event in God’s plan of salvation, the icon of the temple passage is now also given its permanent place in the festive series on the picture wall. The scene depicts how the high priest receives the three-year-old Maria in the presence of her parents, sometimes with astonished spectators.