To Dear Dr Babu Paul:
Your article basing on mine, I welcome it. I have no doubt or
contradiction except about one thing. I did not elaborate all matters
about St Mary. I was just replying to a specific question and I wrote
only those points I felt then necessary.
However, I do not think the Orthodox Church believes that Mary was
sanctified in the embrionic form in the womb of Hanna. Dr Babu Paul
in his book, "Veda Sabda Retnakaram" page 499, after explicitely
presenting the Orthodox position, in the foot-note says, (may not be
literal translation-which he can offer, if so pleases) 'there is reason
to agree that St Mary was sanctified in her mother's womb'. He cites
observance observance of Ettunombu as a reason justify. My humble
opinion is that Ettunombu is not a canonical one, but laiety sponsored
as he has already said.
As he rightly pointed out, St John the Baptist was filled with Holly
Spirit in his mother's womb and the holy fathers duly considered this
speciality and set apart one Sunday for his birth. Though birth of St John
the Baptist is remebered on a Sunday, we do not consider it as feast('Moronoyo').
For those who are not familiar with feast-details I would add without
elaboration that the Holy Church has distinguised three catagories of
the feasts namely,
1, Those most important feasts which are directly linked to our Lord
such as, Soonoro, Yeldo, Mayaltho, Quomtho, Sooloko, etc.
2, More but less than the first catagory, which are, Soonoyo, Mid-Nineve-
lent, Sleehanombu veedal, etc
And the third catagory is least of the other two, which are mostly of
Saints, Patron-saints, etc.
Church does not insist the third catagory as a canonical requirement
but strongly recomments it.
While birth of the Baptist does not fall even in the third catagory,
September 8 is considered in the third catagoty. It is because of the
special honor we assign to St Mary in general and not particularly
considering her sanctification in her mother's womb. I do not find any
reason for believing it. Whether or not she was purified in her embrionic
stage, he is special and exalted.
Another reason might be, I am not betting, that Patriarch Mor Abdulla was
in Roman faith before becoming the Patriarch for about 9 years, and in all
probability he might have brought in this thought. We also did not have,
and still does have, a canonizing system and in most cases simply followed
what the patriarch decided to be correct.
The foot-note also says, 'Church does not commommorate birthday's of
the one who is born with original sin.' as sufficeient reason to justify
sanctification in her mother's womb. I humbly disagree, the original
sin need not be a criterion. St Augustine says, "On account of the honour
of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sin for
how do we know that what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin
was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear Him in whom
there was no sin," Nature and Grace, against Palagius. Roman Catholics later
interpretted it in favor for their theory. Our fathers also gave due credit
to what St Augustine said but did not go with Roman teaching on the dogma
nor said they have fathomed all the mysteries concening.