Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Who are the people in the usual Nativity icon? Was anybody else there other than St. Mary, St. Joseph, & Salome?

An icon is meant to be read, not only viewed. It tells a story, specific events, and symbolic meanings. The common Nativity icon provides an account of the Holy Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The shepherds in the field were heralded by the angels proclaiming these glad tidings, "Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people" (Luke 2:10).

Some shepherds may have reached the manger sooner than others and saw the Holy Infant with St. Mary and St. Joseph, "And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger" (Luke 2:16).

According to tradition, not the Holy Scripture, Salome, the mid-wife and relative of St. Mary was present.

The Magi are depicted as having seen the star and pointing to it while being still afar off were en route towards Bethlehem. "For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him" (Matthew 2:2).

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