OrthodoxChristianity.net
April 16, 2014, 03:31:31 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: The Rules page has been updated.  Please familiarize yourself with its contents!
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags CHAT Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary  (Read 14151 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #90 on: September 25, 2009, 04:36:22 AM »

When did devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary actually begin? And what did the Eary Church Fathers say on this matter?

I know Youtube.com is not an excellent source, but I did see a video there, where a Lutheran Pastor says devotion to Mary began in the Dark Ages in the RC Church.

So, I am searching for the earliest documentaion on this matter.

He refers to the dark ages as being from 500 to 1000 AD. Is this even historically correct??

Depends on who you ask.

The Dark Ages are generally considered to fall between 500-1000. But on the other hand, that time period wasn't really that Dark. The term "Dark Ages" refers to the lack of written records from this period, not the fact that it was somehow more backwards than another age.

I think most people consider it a term that's not really useful any more, except possibly applied to England before the coming of the Irish missionaries, who brought Christianity and literacy. They themselves thought that the were enlightening darkness, so it's fair to use the term. So that puts it between around 400 and maybe 650-700 or so. Otherwise, it's a rude term for the Middle Ages. I've got an old late-Victorian history book that refers to Henry VII and 'Good Queen Bess' ending the Dark Ages and bringing 'true faith'.  Smiley
Logged
Dan-Romania
Moderated
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 438


« Reply #91 on: September 25, 2009, 01:26:28 PM »

       The Orthodox Church calls the Blessed Virgin Mary Theotokos , the hidden mystery from eternity unknown by angels.St Ignatius says that the ruler of this world did not knew the Virginity of Mary , the birth of Christ from her and the death of Jesus.Three big mysteries accomplished in the silence of God.The person of the BVM is bound in the iconomy of Salvation to Jesus Christ as we confess in the creed : "Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man". Because of this the praise of the Mother of God has bound roots with our Saviour Jesus Christ.
        The Holy Fathers starting with those from the postapostolic age untill the VIII century developed an unitarian teaching about the Virgin Mary, specifying the theological and liturgical aspects of her praise showing the help the BVM gives to the faithfull in the iconomy of salvation.
         In the postapostolic time, the teology concerning Theotokos is less reacher, in exchange apologetics of high reputation such as Justin Martyr,St Iraeneus, Tertullian,Clement of Alexandria , Origen put the basics of the orthodox teachings concerning VM , highlighting the real birth of the Lord,the virginity of Theotokos and her motherhood.
         The teaching about the Mother of the Lord , becomes more profound in the writings of the Church Fathers from IV-V centuries when 19 fathers and church writers of reputation from east and west bring their testimonies about the Mother of God.Father like Athanasius the Great , Chirill of Jerusalem,Basil the Great,Gregory the Theologian,Gregory of Nyssa , John Chrysostomus,Ephrem the Sir,Ambrose , Chirill of Alexandria , Leon the Great, Blessed Jeronim and Augustin.This period it`s in climax in the 3rd Ecumenical Council in Ephesus(431) when they decided the name for the Virgin Mary , Theotokos(God-bearer).

This is translated by myself from a romanian orthodox book:Adrian Lucian Dinu , The Mother of God in the Theology of the Church Fathers.

On this age(IV-V century) the devotion to Theotokos grew more and more , and this is maybe the golden era of the Church, with great Theologians like Chrysostomus , Basil the Great , Athanasius the Great, Chiril of Alexandria , Leon the Great , Ambrose , Augustin.We see that already in this age , the devotion to Mary was very big , we see that by looking at the writings of this fathers , many hymns and poetries to the Mother of God are from even then, and nice poetical theology , the honey of orthodoxy.We see that the Church Father had high esteem to the Blessed Mother of our Lord, and honour her with poetries and hymns, one of this is Ephrem the Syr , who has very beautifull poetries and praises about Mary, in the contrast of Mariology.

Logged

"I believe because it is impossible"
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #92 on: September 25, 2009, 10:48:02 PM »

When I was in school in the early seventies, you were taught about the fall of the Roman Empire (the Western half of course) then there was the Dark Ages where despite the corrupt Church, the monasteries somehow managed to collect and save the writings of classical Rome and Greece from the burning of libraries by the barbarians. Then you had the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, followed by the Spanish-American War, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War and the sixties. That was the summation of human history in a nutshell in late sixties/early seventies public schools.

P.S. that is probably a heck of a lot more than kids learn today!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 10:49:46 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #93 on: September 26, 2009, 06:54:40 AM »

When I was in school in the early seventies, you were taught about the fall of the Roman Empire (the Western half of course) then there was the Dark Ages where despite the corrupt Church, the monasteries somehow managed to collect and save the writings of classical Rome and Greece from the burning of libraries by the barbarians. Then you had the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, followed by the Spanish-American War, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War and the sixties. That was the summation of human history in a nutshell in late sixties/early seventies public schools.

P.S. that is probably a heck of a lot more than kids learn today!

Don't bet on that last claim, will you  Wink

The term Dark Ages is derogatory and originating with anti-Catholic Protestant historians, btw. If those historians were alive today, they'd think the Orthodox Church was part of the 'darkness', I reckon.

Logged
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #94 on: September 26, 2009, 12:45:17 PM »

When I was in school in the early seventies, you were taught about the fall of the Roman Empire (the Western half of course) then there was the Dark Ages where despite the corrupt Church, the monasteries somehow managed to collect and save the writings of classical Rome and Greece from the burning of libraries by the barbarians. Then you had the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, followed by the Spanish-American War, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War and the sixties. That was the summation of human history in a nutshell in late sixties/early seventies public schools.

P.S. that is probably a heck of a lot more than kids learn today!

Don't bet on that last claim, will you  Wink



The term Dark Ages is derogatory and originating with anti-Catholic Protestant historians, btw. If those historians were alive today, they'd think the Orthodox Church was part of the 'darkness', I reckon.



Liz
I never picked up negative, anti-catholic notions from the term Dark Ages; I was taught that the term referred to the darkness that descended on Europe with the demise of the Roman Empire, the sacking and burning of libraries, and the halt on learning brought about by the barbarians and the defensive situation of feudal Europe. But the monasteries were given due credit as places where learning was preserved and the manuscripts from the classical era were saved and preserved and the study of the classical languages (Latin and Greek) preserved.

Maybe the situation was different in the US than in the UK with that term.
 
Logged
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #95 on: September 26, 2009, 01:11:17 PM »

When I was in school in the early seventies, you were taught about the fall of the Roman Empire (the Western half of course) then there was the Dark Ages where despite the corrupt Church, the monasteries somehow managed to collect and save the writings of classical Rome and Greece from the burning of libraries by the barbarians. Then you had the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War, followed by the Spanish-American War, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War and the sixties. That was the summation of human history in a nutshell in late sixties/early seventies public schools.

P.S. that is probably a heck of a lot more than kids learn today!

Don't bet on that last claim, will you  Wink



The term Dark Ages is derogatory and originating with anti-Catholic Protestant historians, btw. If those historians were alive today, they'd think the Orthodox Church was part of the 'darkness', I reckon.



Liz
I never picked up negative, anti-catholic notions from the term Dark Ages; I was taught that the term referred to the darkness that descended on Europe with the demise of the Roman Empire, the sacking and burning of libraries, and the halt on learning brought about by the barbarians and the defensive situation of feudal Europe. But the monasteries were given due credit as places where learning was preserved and the manuscripts from the classical era were saved and preserved and the study of the classical languages (Latin and Greek) preserved.

Maybe the situation was different in the US than in the UK with that term.
 

Yes, that makes sense. I looked (only on wiki, but the article looks well-written), and apparently Petrarch was the first to refer to 'Dark Ages' in order to criticize late Latin literature. I think lots of British historians, who were very anti-Catholic, thought of the Catholic Middle Ages as the 'Dark Ages'. Of course, monasteries in England weren't very good (in fact, no good at all!) at preserving the Greek sources that the Orthodox Church never lost sight of. England was pretty isolated I guess, but I think Greek wasn't widely known in the West. It's good that the States doesn't seem to be so affected by this anti-Catholic prejudice. One of my colleagues wrote a paper looking at how 19th and early 20th century English editors described Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and you wouldn't believe how nationalistic and anti-Catholic they were!

It's this English prejudice against anything that looks like Catholicism that is at the root of the Anglican distrust of the Virgin. In my view it's absurd, but you still find older people who think that it's best to avoid mentioning or thinking about the Mother of God entirely, just in case they look 'Romish' (as they would say). In fact, I noticed today that the early version of the Anglican Communion service (which is obsolete) very pointedly refers to Jesus as 'our only mediator'.

Edit: Btw, have you heard of the wonderful discovery made recently in England, of Anglo-Saxon gold? It's very exciting - and it's things like this that make me understand why my colleagues don't like the term 'dark ages'. If you've not heard, search for 'Anglo-Saxon treasure discovery' and I'm sure the story will come up.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 01:15:57 PM by Liz » Logged
Altar Server
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian(as of 12/18/10)
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 833


Before Thy Cross we bow down in worship O Master!


« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2009, 12:56:58 AM »

Martin Luther himself had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the saints he just had problems asking their prayers he also prayed the rosary with out the "pray for us..." and he never condemned images

In Jesus and Mary

Altar Server
Logged

"Open to me the doors of repentance O lifegiver!"
Nazarene
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Judaism
Jurisdiction: Messianic
Posts: 520


David ben Yessai


« Reply #97 on: November 26, 2009, 04:39:39 PM »

{Luke 1:48} because he has looked at the humiliation of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will give me a blessing, (Peshitta)

I'm curious, how is veneration the same thing as a blessing?
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian
Posts: 6,668



« Reply #98 on: November 26, 2009, 09:44:42 PM »

I'm curious, how is veneration the same thing as a blessing?

Well, how are you defining "blessing" and "veneration"?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 09:44:51 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
ChristusDominus
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Latin Rite
Posts: 936


Saint Aloysius Gonzaga


« Reply #99 on: November 27, 2009, 05:39:24 PM »

{Luke 1:48} because he has looked at the humiliation of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will give me a blessing, (Peshitta)

I'm curious, how is veneration the same thing as a blessing?
Your Bible's translation of Luke 1:48 differs substantially from mine:

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:48 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Your quotation indicates that she will given a blessing, mine indicates otherwise. She shall be called Blessed. Being given a blessing, and being called Blessed differ greatly. Being called Blessed  is a unique privilege, wouldn't you say? I mean, who can really say, "all generations shall call me blessed"?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 05:49:16 PM by ChristusDominus » Logged

There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Nazarene
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Judaism
Jurisdiction: Messianic
Posts: 520


David ben Yessai


« Reply #100 on: November 27, 2009, 06:20:22 PM »

{Luke 1:48} because he has looked at the humiliation of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will give me a blessing, (Peshitta)

I'm curious, how is veneration the same thing as a blessing?
Your Bible's translation of Luke 1:48 differs substantially from mine:

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:48 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Your quotation indicates that she will given a blessing, mine indicates otherwise. She shall be called Blessed. Being given a blessing, and being called Blessed differ greatly. Being called Blessed  is a unique privilege, wouldn't you say? I mean, who can really say, "all generations shall call me blessed"?

Yes my translation differs because it's based on a differnt underlying text (the Peshitta).

I can go into detail of how blessings are understood by Jews, especially how significant they are for a Jewish woman like Mary in a staunchly patriachal society, but I first want to know how blessing translates into veneration?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 06:21:43 PM by Nazarene » Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #101 on: November 27, 2009, 06:48:31 PM »

How else could we bless her except by paying her due respect and honor?
Logged
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #102 on: November 27, 2009, 07:35:39 PM »

We venerate those who are the most visible human reminders of God - those who are blessed. The image of God is in all of us. Human blessing (as a vicar might bless you) is an expression of devout hope that this image may truly draw near to God. When we refer to someone (the supreme example being Mary) as blessed, we are acknowledging that this person has indeed conformed their image towards that of God. Veneration is a close cousin to worship: we worship only that which is divine. But we venerate those people whose humanity is transmuted by their blessed closeness to God.

... that's how I'd see it, and I'm not being very clear. But veneration and blessing relate to points on the same spectrum - our hope to reform our humanity to the image of God.
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #103 on: November 27, 2009, 09:51:04 PM »

We venerate those who are the most visible human reminders of God - those who are blessed. The image of God is in all of us. Human blessing (as a vicar might bless you) is an expression of devout hope that this image may truly draw near to God. When we refer to someone (the supreme example being Mary) as blessed, we are acknowledging that this person has indeed conformed their image towards that of God. Veneration is a close cousin to worship: we worship only that which is divine. But we venerate those people whose humanity is transmuted by their blessed closeness to God.

... that's how I'd see it, and I'm not being very clear. But veneration and blessing relate to points on the same spectrum - our hope to reform our humanity to the image of God.

Very well put, Liz.  Although I know there are distinctions between worship and veneration, I confess I'm not always sure what these distinctions are.  I think it may be more of a "heart thing" than something that is outwardly visible.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Serbian
Posts: 6,668



« Reply #104 on: November 28, 2009, 02:42:53 AM »

Very well put, Liz.  Although I know there are distinctions between worship and veneration, I confess I'm not always sure what these distinctions are.  I think it may be more of a "heart thing" than something that is outwardly visible.

It gets even more confusing when you get into the etymology.  In current English usage, the word "worship" is supposed to convey what is due to God alone.  But traditionally this word has been used less formally, as in the title "Your Worship" for those in authority, bowing down and "worshiping" rulers as in the New Testament parables, et cetera.

When looking at the decrees of the councils, I seem to recall a distinction being made between "veneration" and "worship" in regard to interacting with iconography, but the more literal translation of the terms was that it was appropriate to "adore" images, but only God is to receive "hyper-adoration", whatever that is.  Then add in the fact that there are no distinguishing elements in physical worship either.  We prostrate before images of the Theanthropos, but also the Theotokos in the same manner.

Any designation becomes a thing of the heart.  With bowing before the Theotokos, I tend to think of the adoration as being because of what her Son has made her.  If I were to meet a king in ancient times, I would bow before his mother, the queen-mother as well.  She is due honor and adoration, even (gasp!) worship in the traditional sense of the term because of her relation to Christ.  His virtue is such that it affects all around Him, and who is more close to Him than his most-pure mother?

All of her virtue comes from God; truly God is glorified in her.  She is deified by His grace, and she acts in our lives by the energy of God which now emanates from her.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 02:43:19 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
sprtslvr1973
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA; Jurisdiaction of Dallas and the South
Posts: 669


"Behold I stand at the Door and Knock" Rev. 3:20


« Reply #105 on: December 11, 2009, 09:13:02 AM »

I know Youtube.com is not an excellent source, but I did see a video there, where a Lutheran Pastor says devotion to Mary began in the Dark Ages in the RC Church.
Now this is interesting. That's made by a pastor of Missouri-Synod and they have a statue of Theotokos in one of their churhes. Is that an extreme anomaly or is that pastor representing some low church wing of Missouri-Synod?

The LCMS has become almost Nestorian in their understanding of Mary and Christ.  A lot of "baptist" Lutherans will shudder at calling Mary, the Mother of God or Theotokos, even though that particular title was used in the old 1943 hymnal, which is still fairly commonplace in many LCMS congregatinos.  Rather than call Mary, MOther of God, they will call her Mother of Christ, which, in Greek, would be Christotokos and that is precisely the kind of talk that got Nestorius condemned at Ephesus in 431.  The LCMS has really turned her back on the appropriate honour due to Mary even though Luther himself was very devoted to our Lady.  The reason they do so is avoid any hint of Catholcisim.  Romaphobia is very prevalent in many LCMS congregations.  Again, they're becoming more Baptist.

I am not sure who the Lutheran pastor that you are referring to is. There is one guy who is a LCMS pastor in Seattle named Ernie Lessman, who record's his weekly catechism classes. He is actually pretty good. I do remember one time when he spoke about why devotion to Mary was discouraged. Basically he said that the RCC had determined that Christ was too distant, which, if memory serves, he said contradicted Grace. Based on that understanding I would kind of agree. When I was a catecumen I once asked my priest if we couldn't just pray to Christ directly. He said "Of course! He's right there.' while pointing to the icon. "He is always there." We do not ask for partion the saints due to distance from Christ.

Regarding the Baptist-like nature of the LCMS, and the minister on yourube, the same man who criticized reverence for Mary was also a staunch proponent of the Real Presence as wll as infant Baptism. These are two beliefs that are absolutely anathema to Baptist beliefs.
Logged

"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"- Luke 23:46
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 35,604



« Reply #106 on: February 05, 2011, 04:42:49 PM »

The earliest hymn we have to the Mother of God comes to us from the Church of Alexandria, Egypt, from about the year 250.

Source, please.  Wikipedia gives none, so it might as well have come from a blog.

Greek Papyrus 470 in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, England
http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/eresources/imagecollections/
On the Insight Browser Viewer, search by Reference Number for
Greek  Papyrus 470, and then click on it to activate the magnify and zoom
functions.

Better yet:

http://bp2.blogger.com/_IY755_iUePk/RrqBwR2tyAI/AAAAAAAAARI/aoIHtrSlg4U/s1600-h/johnrylands470.jpg
http://theoblogoumena.blogspot.com/2007/08/john-rylands-papyrus-470.html

Theotokos is the first word in the fourth line.
I just came across this
Quote
...C.H. Roberts published this document in 1938 (cf. Catalogue of the Greek and Latin Papyri in the John Rylands Library, III, Theological and literacy Texts, Manchester 1938, pp. 46-47). Roberts then dated this piece of papyrus back to the fourth century, thinking it was impossible to find an invocation to the Theotokos before this century (we will however see below, that the expression Theotokos was already in use in Alexandria before 250).

However his colleague E. Lobel, with whom he collaborated in editing the Oxyrhynchus papyri, basing his arguments on pure paleographic analysis, argued that the text could not possibly be older than the third century, and most probably was written between 250 and 280. A contributor to Roberts, H.J. Bell, even said that this document might be a "model for an engraver" considering the beauty of the uncials. The Sub tuum praesidium thus precedes by several centuries the Ave Maria in Christian prayer....

The designation of Mary as Theotokos during the third century, therefore two hundred years before the arguments linked to the theses of Nestorius -- an issue resolved by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 -- already created problems for C.H. Roberts, the editor of the Egyptian text as stated above. One must realize that the term Theotokos ("Dei Genetrix") is not an invention of the fifth century.

During the fourth century, the term was already quite popular in the area of Alexandria (St. Alexander of Alexandria, St. Athanasius, St. Serapion of Thmuis, Didymus the Blind), and also in Arabia (Tite of Bostra), in Palestine (Eusebius of Caesarea, St. Cyril of Jerusalem), Cappadocia (St. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzen, Severian of Gabala) and even among the Arians (Asterius the Sophist).

Moreover, the term may be encountered during the third century, precisely in the work of the Alexandrian school. According to the testimony of the ecclesiastical historian Socrates (Hist. Eccl. VII, 32 - PG 67, 812 B), Origen would have used it in his commentary -- unfortunately lost -- on the Epistle to the Romans. His disciple, Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria, also used the term of Theotokos around the year 250 in an epistle to Paul of Samosata. It is interesting to note that the term did not remain a mere theological concept, considering that it received a liturgical dimension in Egypt during the same period. However, it is difficult to determine if it is the theological discourse that influenced the liturgical prayer, or vice versa.

Still, one can better understand the extraordinary pugnacity of St. Cyril of Alexandria against the Nestorian theses in the fifth century, since obviously, the term Theotokos was already part of the deposit of the faith lived and sung in the liturgy of Alexandria for quite some time...
http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/index.html#6808626763184841400
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Tags: Theotokos prayer 
Pages: « 1 2 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.093 seconds with 45 queries.