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Mother Of God

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Mother of God Again we commemorate her who is worthy of being called blessed and extolled by all the generations of the earth , we read in the 4th Diptych
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Mother of God

      "Again we commemorate her who is worthy of being called blessed and
      extolled by all the generations of the earth", we read in the 4th
      Diptych (Thubden) during our Holy Qurbana about St. Mary, Mother of
      God.

      Our Holy Fathers venerated her as Theotokos (Mother of God). Just as
      Jesus is the second Adam, she is the second Eve.
      The first Eve gave man the Fruit of Knowledge, the second Eve gave
      the Fruit of Life.

      The first Eve listened to the words of the Serpent and disobeyed God,
      the second Eve listened to the words of Archangel Gabriel and
      submitted herself to the will of God in perfect obedience.
      In the beginning Eve was created out of Adam. The second Adam was
      born from Eve.

      The first Adam and Eve were created as grown ups without being born
      as infants, died and returned to the earth through unbelief and
      disobedience. The second Adam and Eve were born as infants, died and
      ascended into heaven through faith and obedience.

      As we are preparing to celebrate the Festival of Ascension of St.
      Mary here is a collection of what the Bible, Orthodox tradition and
      our Holy Fathers say about the "holy, glorious and blessed, ever
      virgin and blissful, Mary the Mother of God." May her prayers be a
      stronghold for us.

      Bible

      The burning bush, the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with
      gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that
      budded, and the tables of the covenant all these symbolically
      represented the Mother of God

      "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his
      name Immanuel" , prophesied Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14)

      "Hail Mary, full of Grace" , Angel Gabriel greeted her
      "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy
      womb" , Elizabeth extolled her calling her the "mother of my Lord"
      Her intercession persuaded Jesus to perform his first miracle at Cana
      of Galilee and paved way for His public ministry

      Her prayers along with the prayers of the Apostles and other
      disciples invoked Holy Spirit to descend upon all the believers on
      the day of Pentecost.

      Orthodox Tradition

      Her tearful intercession strengthened the Martyrs and was
      instrumental in the growth of the early church. It is said that when
      St. Stephen, the first Christian Martyr was being stoned to death St.
      Mary, Mother of God was praying in tears. The spot where she was
      standing and praying is honored as holy as we read from the "Journey
      to Jerusalem" travelogue written by Parumala Thirumeni.

      Holy Father St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria insisted at the third
      ecumenical council of Ephesus that she should be called 'Theotokos'
      (Mother of God) and not just 'Christotokos' (Mother of Christ)
      refuting Nestorianism.

      Holy Father St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch "preached all the time
      that Mary was undoubtedly the God-bearer."

      Her prayers healed young deacon Geevarghese from deadly chickenpox.
      Her affectionate advice in a vision persuaded him to forsake worldly
      life and become a saint - St. Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni).

      Holy Fathers

      St. Dionysius the Areopagite, Bishop of Athens, who was converted to
      Christ by St. Paul

      "It is impossible for the human mind to grasp what I have seen not
      only with the eyes of my soul, but with my bodily eyes, too. I have
      seen with my own eyes the most beautiful and holy Mother of Our Lord
      Jesus Christ .... That time was for me a time of supreme happiness, I
      thank the most high and most gracious God, and the Divine Virgin, the
      great Apostle John, and thee (St. Paul), for having mercifully
      granted me such a great blessing," (letter to St. Paul after visiting
      the Mother of God in Jerusalem)

      St. Justin Martyr

      "He became Man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by
      disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent,
      might be also the very course by which it would be put down. For Eve,
      a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent, and bore
      disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy
      when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the
      Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High
      would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her
      is the Son of God. And she replied: `Be it done unto me according to
      thy word'." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 100 [Ca. 155 AD])

      St. Ignatius the God bearer

      "If it is made possible, I intend to come to you in order to see the
      faithful gathered in Jerusalem, and especially the Mother of Jesus:
      they say of her that she is honorable, affable, and arouses wonder in
      all, and all wish to see her. But who would not wish to see the
      Virgin and to converse with her who bore the true God? ...With us she
      is glorified as the Mother of God and the Virgin full of grace and
      virtue. They say of her that she is joyful in troubles and
      persecutions, does not grieve in poverty and want, and not only does
      not get angry with those who offend her but does good to them still
      more... All who see her are delighted."

      St. Irenaeus of Lyonse

      "ThVirgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel
      the glad tidings that she would bear God." (Against Heresies [A.D.
      189])

      "(Eve) having become disobedient, was made the cause of death for
      herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a
      man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the
      cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race...Thus,
      the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary.
      What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed
      through faith." (Against Heresies [A.D. 189])

      St. Athanasius

      "The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly,
      inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in
      time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God." (The
      Incarnation of the Word of God [A.D. 365])

      St. Cyril of Jerusalem

      "Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The
      Father bears witness from heaven to his Son. The Holy Spirit bears
      witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The Archangel
      Gabriel bears witness, bringing the good tidings to Mary. The Virgin
      Mother of God bears witness." (Catechetical Lectures 10:19 [A.D.350])

      St. Cyril of Alexandria

      "I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or
      not the Holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if
      our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the Holy Virgin who bore him
      not be the Mother of God?" (Letter to the Monks of Egypt [A.D. 427])
      "This expression, however, 'the Word was made flesh' [John 1:14], can
      mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood like to us;
      he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not
      casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the
      Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was.
      This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This
      was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to
      call the holy Virgin, the Mother of God, not as if the nature of the
      Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but
      because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which
      the Word, being personally united, is said to be born according to
      the flesh." (First Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430])

      "And since the holy Virgin hath borne after the Flesh God united
      personally to the Flesh, therefore we do say that she is also Mother
      of God, not as though the Nature of the Word had the beginning of Its
      existence from flesh, for It was in the beginning and the Word was
      God, and the Word was with God [John 1:1], and is Himself the Maker
      of the ages, Co-eternal with the Father and Creator of all things."
      (Third Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430])

      Council of Ephesus

      "If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that
      therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God, inasmuch as in the
      flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [John 1:14]: let him be
      anathema". (Anathemas against Nestorianism [A.D. 431])

      "We confess, then, our lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of
      God perfect God and perfect man of a rational soul and a body,
      begotten before all ages from the Father in his godhead, the same in
      the last days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary the virgin,
      according to his humanity, one and the same consubstantial with the
      Father in godhead and consubstantial with us in humanity, for a union
      of two natures took place. Therefore we confess one Christ, one Son,
      one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we
      confess the holy virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word
      took flesh and became man and from his very conception united to
      himself the temple he took from her" (Formula of Union [A.D. 431])

      St. Gregory of Nazianzes

      "If anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at
      odds with the Godhead" (Letter to Cledonius the Priest 101 [A.D. 382])
      St. Ephrem the Syrian, The Harp of the Holy Spirit

      "Come, let us wonder at the virgin most pure, wondrous in herself,
      unique in creation, she gave birth, yet knew no man; her pure soul
      with wonder was filled, daily her mind gave praise in joy at the
      twofold wonder: her virginity preserved, her child most dear. Blessed
      is He who shone forth from her!" (Songs of Praise [A.D. 351])

      "Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the
      handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God." (Songs of
      Praise [A.D. 351]).

      "Awake, my harp, your songs in praise of the Virgin Mary! Lift up
      your voice and sing The wonderful history Of the Virgin, the daughter
      of David, who gave birth to the Life of the World.", (Songs of Praise
      [A.D. 351]).

      St. George the Martyr Saint

      "To whom, O governor, wouldst thou compare Apollo ? Wouldst thou
      compare him to the great Peter, the Arch-apostle to whom were given
      the keys of the kingdom of heaven ? Or wouldst thou compare him to
      the mighty Elijah the Tishbite who was an angel upon earth, and who
      was taken up to heaven in chariot of fire ? Is he not more excellent
      than the wicked sorcerer Poseidon ? or Smaraktos the profane who
      worked enchantment by fire ? and who lived with the defiled one, whom
      they call Timetia who gave birth to the Saraphin the sea warriors,
      who on account of their deeds were cast into the abyss of the sea ?
      In whom wouldst thou believe, O king, in Jezebel who slew the
      prophets, or in the most exalted Virgin Mary who bore us our Lord
      Jesus Christ ? Be ashamed then, O foolish one, for thy wicked and
      impure gods are devils." (discourse to King Dadianus on the futility
      of worshipping idols)

      "O Thou Who in the last days didst appear to us upon earth and didst
      take flesh through the God-bearer, Mary the Virgin, by an
      unfathomable and unknowable mystery; the true offspring [of God]; Who
      didst walk upon the waves of the sea and Whose feet were not wetted
      by them; Who with five loaves of bread didst feed five thousand men,
      and they were satisfied; Who didst rebuke the sea and the waves and
      they subsided everywhere, and were obedient upon Thee, for all
      creatiion is Thine; let now Thy mercy come upon us and upon me, Thy
      servant George, for with Thee there is mercy, and to Thee and to Thy
      Good Father and to the Holy Spirit belongeth the glory for ever.
      Amen." (A Prayer)
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