The Malankara World Journal Special Issue 23 (dated September 3, 2011) is now available online at:
In this special abridged edition of Malankara World Journal, we bring excerpts from the articles of prominent Church Fathers who have molded our Concept of St. Mary.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux discusses the appropriateness of the name "Mary" for the Mother of God. This is also a super devotional suitable for meditation. (This article is included below.)
St. Cyril of Alexandria was one of the early Church Fathers who has defended Mary as the Mother of God. In the beginning of the fifth century, Nestorius, the archbishop of Constantinople, began to teach against the belief which is universally established by the Council of Nicea. He said Mary is not Mother of God or Mother of Man. According to him she is the Mother of Christ. By Christ he referred the unified person of Christ. His theory was questioned by the Universal Church, especially by Saint Cyril, the Patriarch of Alexandria. Saint Cyril argued and proved from the scripture that Mary is ever Virgin and she is the Theotokos (Mother of God). Finally the emperor Theodosius convened the Council of Ephesus in 431. The Council declined the theory of Nestorius and reiterated that Mary is Ever Virgin and Theotokos. (Reference: 'Virgin Mary - In the Syrian Orthodox Faith' by Rev. Fr. Thomas Kora) The article, "In defense of Theotokas" is an excerpt from the historic homily given at the Council of Ephesus, June 22, 431 by St. Cyril of Alexandria.
St. Thomas Aquinas is famous for his devotions and prayers. We present a devotion called 'All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed' to round up this issue of Malankara World Journal.
The Name of Mary
by Bernard of Clairvaux
"And the virgin's name was Mary" (Lk 1:27). Let us also say a few words about this name, which means "star of the sea" and is most suitably fitting for a virgin mother. For she is most appropriately compared to a star, because, just as a star emits its rays without being corrupted, so the Virgin gave birth to her Son without any injury to her virginity. When the star emits its rays, this does not make it less bright, and neither does the Son diminish his Mother's virginal integrity. She, therefore, is that noble star risen from Jacob, whose ray gives light to the whole world, whose brightness both shines forth in the heavens and penetrates the depths. It lights up the earth and warms the spirit more than the body; it fosters virtues and dries up vices. Mary, I say, is the distinguished and bright shining star, necessarily lifted up above this great broad sea, gleaming with merits, giving light by her example.
Oh, if any of you recognizes that he is caught between storms and tempests, tossed about in the flood of this world, instead of walking on dry land, keep your eyes fixed on the glow of this star, unless you want to perish, overwhelmed by the tempest!
If the winds of temptations surge, if you run aground on the shoals of troubles, look to this star, call upon Mary!
If you are tossed by the winds of pride or ambition or detraction or jealousy, look to this star, call upon Mary!
If anger or greed or the allurements of the flesh dash against the boat of your mind, look to Mary!
And if you are troubled by the enormity of your sins, confused by the foulness of your conscience, terrified by the horror of the Judgment, so that you begin to be swallowed up by the pit of sadness, the abyss of despair, think of Mary!
In dangers, in straits, in perplexity, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let her name be always in your mouth and in your heart, and, if you would ask for and obtain the help of her prayers, do not forget the example of how she lived.
If you follow her, you will not go astray. If you pray to her, you will not despair. If you think of her, you will not be lost. If you cling to her, you will not fall. If she protects you, you will not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is favorable to you, you will reach your goal. Thus you will experience personally how rightly it was spoken: "And the Virgin's name was Mary."
Source: Bernard of Clairvaux, Super missus est 2, 17; PL 183, 70-71
Table of Contents: Malankara World Journal Issue 14
The Name of Mary by Bernard of Clairvaux
In Defense of the Theotókos by St. Cyril of Alexandria
"All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed" by St. Thomas Aquinas
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Oh ... Morth Mariam Yoldath Aloho (Mother of God) Pray for Us.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956