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Author Topic: Mary's Sinless State?  (Read 2162 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 21, 2009, 08:21:59 AM »

I have just recently started investigating Orthodoxy.  I'm a Reformed Protestant, and I have done a lot of research into Catholicism, but have not, as yet, been convinced.

In my readings of Orthodoxy, I have been confused by the stance on Mary.  Her being the Theotokos is nonnegotiable (thank God!), and neither is her perpetual virginity (not really a sticking point with me). 

However, what is the "official" position on Mary's sinfulness/sinlessness?  Or perhaps a better question, what are acceptable views of Mary's sinfulness/sinlessness?  Is it typically supposed that Mary did not commit actual sin?  Is it allowable to believe that she did? 

I believe that I have read conflicting statements from Orthodox scholars on these issues, but I could easily be mistaken.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings to all,

BJ
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2009, 10:13:38 AM »

I have just recently started investigating Orthodoxy.  I'm a Reformed Protestant, and I have done a lot of research into Catholicism, but have not, as yet, been convinced.

In my readings of Orthodoxy, I have been confused by the stance on Mary.  Her being the Theotokos is nonnegotiable (thank God!), and neither is her perpetual virginity (not really a sticking point with me). 

However, what is the "official" position on Mary's sinfulness/sinlessness?  Or perhaps a better question, what are acceptable views of Mary's sinfulness/sinlessness?  Is it typically supposed that Mary did not commit actual sin?  Is it allowable to believe that she did? 

I believe that I have read conflicting statements from Orthodox scholars on these issues, but I could easily be mistaken.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings to all,

BJ

From one stupid scholar to another (I was converted by the Encyclopedia Britannica):

I too was Protestant, and had a BIG hang up about "Mary."

I remember about year before I converted, being in a Coptic Church, and when we were leaving my friends said to me, pointing to the icon "this is our mother" "NOT my mother," I shot back.

I had gone to a Latin school for some years, and knew there arguments, and didn't buy them.  Her being at the foot of the Cross didn't impress me (as a response, when classes rotated the opening prayer, some of my friends would say the Hail Mary, so as to watch me sqirm).  I used to burn the icons of her I got from school (those of Christ I stashed away in a drawyer.  Didn't want any idols around the house, but didn't think burning Jesus was right either).

So when I came across Orthodoxy, she was a problem.

Problem was that Orthodoxy had already proved its case.  Something that wa pointed out to me by an agnostic friend, when he noted "you say that you are Evangelical Lutheran, but whenever you debate (we were in college), after presenting an Evangelical position, you bring up the Orthodox position and say you agree with it.  Why aren't you Orthodox?"  At which point, I had to ask, why wasn't I.

Mary was one of the reasons, but I discovered that wasn't good enough.  The bare minium of belief (and as Protestants, we know what that means, concsiously or subconsciously) in Lutheranism and Evangelicalism, I could no longer assent too: it couldn't stand up to Orthodoxy.  Bulgakov's "The Orthodox Church" (one of the few books on Orthodoxy you could find in those days, you have no idea how much things have improved for the Orthodox in just the last ten years, or even the last few years, case in point: Ancient Faith Radio (ancientfaith.com) founded by the former head of the Moody Bible Radio) makes the statement that Orthodoxy only requires one to believe in the Bible and the Definitions of the 7 Ecumenical Councils.  St. John of Damascus demolished my problems on the 7th Council, and the only dogmatic statement on Mary was that she was Theotokos, which actually tells us more about her Son than her.  I had no choice but become Orthodox.

The problem with Orthodoxy is that, unlike much of Protestantism where the links between what you do in worship and what you do in theological thinking etc. have tenuous links, in Orthodoxy theology, worship, devotion, ethics-all aspects-flow seamless one to another. So whereas I entered Orthodoxy just believing in her title "Theotokos" and the propriety of venerating her icon and not much else, in time everything else fell into place.  It wasn't until later that I "got" the Holy Theotokos.

Our priest says they are two things he will not talk about with those outside the Church: the Holy Theotokos and Trinitarian Theology.  "That's inhouse talk for the family."  He says he is picky about whom he brings home to meet mom, and doesn't fear the Evangelicals missing out on Mary.  "If they enter the Church, she will come with it."

So specifically to your question: no, I don't think its dogma that you have to believe in her sinlessness (except to believe that she was subject to ancestral sin, as are we all except her Son). It is just unthinkable to the Orthodox phronema (mindset).
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2009, 04:55:11 PM »

Ah, the "Mary problem."   I had some problems with it too.

As far as whether Mary actually committed sin, we don't know specifically of any.  St. Johyn Chrysostom (I'll have to find the specific reference) remarks that she may have been prideful, particularly when it came to the WEdding at Cana where Christ worked his first sign.  But whether she actually did or not is besides the point.  She still inherited the mortal corruption which we all have because of the ancestral sin of Adam and, as such, she was in need of the Cross and Christ just as the rest of us.  But she is an icon of the first Christian and as such she is our example,a mother, as it were.  As Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory once put it so eloquently, "Mary is the great example, not the great exception."  The latter is what the Catholics have done, hence why they have created so many doctrines and dogmas for her such as her immaculate conception.  The Orthodox have not dogmatized because it is it not necessary.  As long as you confess her as Mother of God (Theotokos) and as ever virgin, whether or not you pray through her to our Lord, she will, with boldness, confess you before the dread judgment seat of Christ.

So don't worry too much about it.  It's something that you may grow more comfortable with time.  Good luck.
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 12:00:27 AM »

Yep, definitely a grey area.

I think only being without personal sin satisfies the appellation of her as "Panagia" (All-Holy), but I'm not aware of even that point being dogmatic either.
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009, 10:58:28 AM »

Yep, definitely a grey area.

I think only being without personal sin satisfies the appellation of her as "Panagia" (All-Holy), but I'm not aware of even that point being dogmatic either.

The counterpoint to that is that we liturgically refer to Christ as the *only* sinless one.

While I might find some things to dispute in Ialmisry's post (specifically, since St. John Chrysostom thought the Blessed Virgin sinned, I find it hard to argue that the thought is completely alien to an Orthodox phronema), I think he's captured the basic Orthodox approach to this issue, which makes it hard (if not impossible) to answer the question in the sense that Protestant inquirers are asking it (and I say that as a convert from Protestantism who struggled with the 'issue' of the Theotokos for years): the Theotokos is the Mother of the our Lord. In baptism, we are united with Him. His Father becomes our Father. And in a sense His mother becomes our Mother. And you don't talk about your mother's sins. You don't even think about them.

So to try to address the OP's question-- the sins (or lack thereof) of any other human being, even the Theotokos are not relevant to your or my salvation. Therefore, there is not, and will never be, an *dogmatic* statement about sin and the Theototkos any more than there is a dogmatic statement by the Church about the color of the sky or the shape of the Earth. That is, there may be a 'correct' answer, but since it's not relevant to salvation, the Church is not going to dogmatize about it. In place of dogma, there is relationship--my advice to an inquirer is to think about how, emotionally, they would react to questions about their own mom--then assume Orthodox are going to have the same reaction about the Theotokos--and until you have that relationship yourself, better to focus on things that do actually affect your salvation.
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 10:38:10 PM »

All,

Thanks for the insights.  I appreciate them immensely.

scamandrius, I believe that I read one Orthodox scholar and/or priest (I wish I could remember where), that used the Wedding Feast at Cana to suggest that Mary had sinned.

Witega, do I understand you right in saying that I would be able to convert and not be obligated to believe that Mary was sinless?  Are you aware of any prominent Orthodox scholars and/or clergy who do not believe that she was sinless?

I find those points on which Orthodoxy and Catholicism differ to be very interesting.  This certainly seems to be one of those instances.

Again, thanks for the help,

BJ
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 02:32:20 AM »

All,

Thanks for the insights.  I appreciate them immensely.

scamandrius, I believe that I read one Orthodox scholar and/or priest (I wish I could remember where), that used the Wedding Feast at Cana to suggest that Mary had sinned.

Witega, do I understand you right in saying that I would be able to convert and not be obligated to believe that Mary was sinless?  Are you aware of any prominent Orthodox scholars and/or clergy who do not believe that she was sinless?

I find those points on which Orthodoxy and Catholicism differ to be very interesting.  This certainly seems to be one of those instances.

Again, thanks for the help,

BJ

To become a catechumen and finally enter the church you must accept the Trinity with Jesus Christ as God incarnate as a man. Then once you get in to the church the rest of the Orthodox phronema will be lived and understood in its proper context. There was a reason catechumens were not allowed to stay for the whole liturgy because the Mysteries were for the faithful. Things like the eucharist, Theotokos and the like are not meant to really be discussed out in the public (im not saying this works 100% in practice since we have things like encyclopedias and wikipedia and loudmouths like me Cheesy)
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 02:43:21 AM »


I believe that I have read conflicting statements from Orthodox scholars on these issues, but I could easily be mistaken.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We can find two or three early Church Fathers who believed that she sinned... one is Saint John Chrysostom who thought she committed the sin of presumption when she used her maternal influence with her Son to cause Him to work the miracle before His time over the water jars at Cana and to reveal Himself earlier than planned.  The sudden appearance of a quite enormous quantity of the finest wine in the world did not go unnoticed!!  Another is (Saint Basil the Great? need to check which Father) who believed that she sinned by doubt at the time when Symeon was prophesying in the temple of the future fate of her baby Son.

But it is important to point out that these were opinions of two or three Fathers which were not accepted by the Church into her sacred tradition.  The Fathers after all may be mistaken on some points; none are infallible.

It sometimes happens that converts today discover these minor anomalies of ancient times and get a tad excited about them.  Probably because they see them as some sort of distinction from Roman Catholicism.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 03:23:45 AM »

Witega, do I understand you right in saying that I would be able to convert and not be obligated to believe that Mary was sinless?  Are you aware of any prominent Orthodox scholars and/or clergy who do not believe that she was sinless?

Yes. The things that an Orthodox Christian is *obligated* to believe are limited to the definitions of the Councils--with only the title Theotokos and her Ever-Virginity falling into that category as regards Mary (and the latter was more 'incidential' in that a council never discussed it--they just used the title as assumed in speaking of her). A person can be an Orthodox Christian while rejecting the fact that the Earth is flat or the importance of monasticism or many other things. It's not necessarily a good idea, but the Church's approach is to establish a strict minimum of what *must* be believed and then leave the rest to study, growth, and spiritual direction all carried out within the body of the Church (to the extent that it's pastorally good for the individual's soul).

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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 03:55:20 AM »

Yes. The things that an Orthodox Christian is *obligated* to believe are limited to the definitions of the Councils--with only the title Theotokos and her Ever-Virginity falling into that category as regards Mary (and the latter was more 'incidential' in that a council never discussed it--they just used the title as assumed in speaking of her).

......the Church's approach is to establish a strict minimum of what *must* be believed.....

Dear Witega,

I am glad to have the opportunity to disagree with you since I have had this unnerving feeling in the past that we must be clones from the same source;  I don't think I have seen anything with which I have not agreed.

But in this instance, I don't agree with a "minimalist" approach to the faith.  I was taught that Orthodoxy has a "maximalist" approach.   There is no schema of the minimal doctrines to define a person as orthodox, but only the fullness of the Tradition.  This includes such undefined beliefs as the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the death and assumption of the holy Mother of God, the Church itself  ~ these things do not have a conciliar definition but denying them or making them optional is unthinkable.

To offer a quote from Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church


Orthodox are not willing to take part in a ‘minimal’ reunion scheme, which secures agreement on
a few points and leaves everything else to private opinion. There can be only one basis for union
— the fullness of the faith; for Orthodoxy looks on the faith as a united and organic whole.

Speaking of the Anglo-Russian Theological Conference at Moscow in 1956, the present Archbishop
of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, expressed the Orthodox viewpoint exactly: ‘The
Orthodox said in effect: ‘…The Tradition is a concrete fact. Here it is, in its totality. Do you Anglicans
accept it, or do you reject it?’ The Tradition is for the Orthodox one indivisible whole:
the entire, life of the Church in its fullness of belief and custom down the ages, including Mariology
and the veneration of icons.

Faced with this challenge, the typically Anglican reply is: ‘We
would not regard veneration of icons or Mariology as inadmissible, provided that in determining
what is necessary to salvation, we confine ourselves to Holy Scripture.’ But this reply only
throws into relief the contrast between the Anglican appeal to what is deemed necessary to salvation
and the Orthodox appeal to the one indivisible organism of Tradition, to tamper with any
part of which is to spoil the whole, in the sort of way that a single splodge on a picture can mar
its beauty (‘The Moscow Conference in Retrospect,’ in Sobornost, series 3, no. 23, 1958, pp. 562-563).

In the words of another Anglican writer: ‘It has been said that the Faith is like a network
rather than an assemblage of discrete dogmas; cut one strand and the whole pattern loses its
meaning’ (T. M. Parker, ‘Devotion to the Mother of God,’ in The Mother of God, edited by E. L. Mascall, p. 74).
Orthodox, then, ask of other Christians that they accept Tradition as a whole....
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 08:59:31 AM »


I believe that I have read conflicting statements from Orthodox scholars on these issues, but I could easily be mistaken.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We can find two or three early Church Fathers who believed that she sinned... one is Saint John Chrysostom who thought she committed the sin of presumption when she used her maternal influence with her Son to cause Him to work the miracle before His time over the water jars at Cana and to reveal Himself earlier than planned.  The sudden appearance of a quite enormous quantity of the finest wine in the world did not go unnoticed!!  Another is (Saint Basil the Great? need to check which Father) who believed that she sinned by doubt at the time when Symeon was prophesying in the temple of the future fate of her baby Son.

But it is important to point out that these were opinions of two or three Fathers which were not accepted by the Church into her sacred tradition.  The Fathers after all may be mistaken on some points; none are infallible.

It sometimes happens that converts today discover these minor anomalies of ancient times and get a tad excited about them.  Probably because they see them as some sort of distinction from Roman Catholicism.  Wink

Another thing father to possibly add is that the Church says that she at the end of her life she was found to be blameless, which I personally think is more important then wondering whether the Theotokos possibly sinned or not. To quote Ozgeorge "I hope when I die people don't start making lists of my sins" Cheesy
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 09:03:59 AM »

Prodromas,

What does it mean to be blameless then?  I find that term a lot less objectionable  Wink

Your quote from Ozgeorge is actually very convicting.  Coupling with what others have said concerning Mary's motherhood, I can see why this could be a touchy, personal subject.  Indeed, I hope that I have not offended anyone with my questions.  If so, I am genuinely sorry.

Again to all, my appreciation abounds.

BJ
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 10:54:27 AM »

Father,

I'm afraid I don't have time to write a full response but it seems to me that I was focusing on the starting point while you are talking about the end-point--and that Bishop Kallistos point is in another context entirely.

I'm still travelling and don't have access to my normal library, but I'll point to what I remember reading in St. John of Shang-hai's book on the Veneration of Mary when he discussed the Dormition of the Theotokos. We have a feast-day dedicated to this event, a canonical icon, a full set of hymns describing it, etc. By any standard of the Tradition, the Dormition is *true*. But we do not consider it a dogma. Why? Because the specifics of what happened to the Theotokos at the end of her earthly life are not *necessary* to your or my salvation. The Church only makes dogma those things that are *necessary* to salvation--Arius had to be defeated because his belief in a Logos which was not fully divine meant he believed in a Logos which could not save. The same for Nestorius and Monophysitism and Monotheletism and even the iconoclasts--all believed in a concept of the Incarnation which made actual salvation through the reunion of God and man in Christ impossible. So those things must be belived. But there are many other things the Church teaches (the sainthood of this or that individual, the Dormition of the Theotokos, etc) that are not *necessary* to salvation--they are 'merely' useful.

So yes, there are things one must believe to be Orthodox. And there are things that are true that one doesn't *have* to believe to be Orthodox. St. Paul makes a point in his letter to, I believe the Corinthians, that they are still infants working on the 'milk' of the Faith when they should have matured and moved on to 'meat'. We do not expect a new convert to absorb and know the entire phronema of the Church. Instead, we expect him to believe the points of the Creed, the basic definitions of the other councils, and perhaps a few other universal points (the Eucharist). Other things come as he lives the life of the Church and matures.

If we expected 'maximalism' of every convert, we'd be back to the practice of never baptizing anyone until their deathbed because no convert can absorb everything the Church has to offer before then.

I think Bishop Kallistos' quote is to a separate point because it is not about what is needed for an Episcopalian (for example) to convert. It's about what is needed for the entire Episcopalian Church to return to Orthodoxy. And those are separate questions. The individual can accept the core teachings of the Church, become part of the living community and grow into the rest. A separated organization on the other hand can't work like that. Because if the organizaiton wants to 'be part of the Church' then it needs to 'be the Church' (referencing the original meaning of *catholic* Church). It has to accept that fullness so that the individuals within it may someday grow into it.
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 11:29:17 AM »

...the Dormition of the Theotokos. We have a feast-day dedicated to this event, a canonical icon, a full set of hymns describing it, etc. By any standard of the Tradition, the Dormition is *true*. But we do not consider it a dogma. Why? Because the specifics of what happened to the Theotokos at the end of her earthly life are not *necessary* to your or my salvation. The Church only makes dogma those things that are *necessary* to salvation--wants to 'be part of the Church' then it needs to 'be the Church' (referencing the original meaning of *catholic* Church). It has to accept that fullness so that the individuals within it may someday grow into it.

We are possible working from a different understanding of "dogma" since I come from a Serbian Orthodox background which tends to a bifold distinction between dogma and theologoumena and not a threefold distinction of dogma, doctrine and theologoumena.

I would be extremely reluctant to admit into the Church someone who denied the Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God unless he or she showed a strong indication of being in the process of coming to accept the Church's belief.   I would absolutely not receive a person who denied the presence of Christ in the Holy Gifts, even through it has not, strictly speaking, ever been dogmatized.

Much of my approach stems from Fr Justin Popovich and his monumental work "Dogmatic Theology."   Are there any Serbs here who know if that was eventually translated into English?  I know it was a project much desired by Mother Maria (Rule) when she and I were working in the monastery of Zica on the translation of the "Okhrid Prolog" in the late 70s.

Father Justin's approach may be found also in the Fr Michael Pomazansky's "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology."    I think I have a quote from him somewhere.... "In ecclesiastical terminology dogmas are the truths of Christian teaching, the truths of faith."  Not that one quote goes a long way...  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2009, 05:33:33 PM »

The case in point is that this isn't dogmatic. It it a belief whether held or not, does affect the core truth of Orthodoxy. (I forgot the word for this).  I have also a problem getting caught up on the fringe issues of the faith, instead of just embracing the core of it and see if these things become more comfortable for me with time.  Nevertheless, I consider this belief about Mary (along with the dormition/assumption belief) to not be an situation where one should "throw out the baby with the bathwater" if they don't believe it.

It is not until recently that I myself became comfortable accepting the dormition/assumption.  Finally,
 iIn my mind, I just couldnt picture Mary being in "paradise" with the rest of the saints, and not kneeling before the Throne of Jesus supplicating on our behalf. It just seemed right.  The sinlessness of Mary I still have trouble with.  Personally, I believe that it takes away from the uniqueness of Christ to say that another was sinless. (i.e. instead of complementing my faith, it hampers it) I would say for non-dogmatic issues such as these to embrace whichever enhances the faith for you at your current situation, while not remaining totally closeminded to the opposing viewpoint and see if you don't "get it" eventually.
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 01:14:09 AM »

I too used to be a Reformed Protestant. One thing that endeared me to Orthodoxy was its acceptance of Divine Mystery. As a Protestant I was obsessed with being able to logically prove my Christian beliefs, which crippled me spiritually. I am now a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and I have benefitted greatly from the clear and simple Christian truths that the Orthodox Church professes.

The person and nature of Mary is one example. Rather than trying to prove or disprove the issue of Our Lady's sinlessness, I simply proclaim what the Church proclaims. And the teachings and profession of the Church are never at odds with the teachings and profession of Scripture.

Here is something I wrote a while back regarding St. Mary. I hope that it helps.



                                    WHO IS MARY?
         Some Christians diminish her importance, and others idolatrously worship her. But who is Mary? And why do those of us in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church properly venerate her?
   In Orthodoxy, our devotion to the Virgin Mary is derived directly from what the Bible says about her. The Scriptures declare her to be the Mother of Our Lord [St. Luke 1:43], and thus we honor her as the “Theotokos”- The Mother of God. In affirming Mary as the “Theotokos” we are in no way declaring her to be greater than God. What we are giving witness to is the glorious mystery that God became a man and was born of a Virgin, chosen by God for her purity, faith, and obedience.
   She was the ladder reaching from earth to Heaven upon whom God descended in order to walk amongst mankind and redeem us from sin and death. Our Lady the Virgin Mary was the first person to receive Jesus Christ by faith, thus she is the supreme example of how we too should receive Christ into our lives. The Incarnation is the central doctrine of the Christian Faith. If we dishonor or diminish the role of Mary in bringing forth the Saviour of the world, then we dishonor and diminish the Saviour Himself.
   Was Mary sinless? Did she remain a virgin all of her life? These are questions that are often asked and debated by those outside of the Orthodox Faith. But these questions are best answered by simply proclaiming and affirming her titles and virtues as revealed in the Holy Bible and in the sacred Apostolic teachings and traditions of the Church.
   Herein are some of the titles and virtues that we ascribe to Our Lady the Virgin Mary in The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. They come from one of our Church books called THE WUDASSE MARIYAM: Hymns of Praise to the Holy Virgin Mary.
   My prayer is that by meditating on her virtues and proclaiming her titles you will cultivate a deep and mystical relationship with Our Lady the Virgin Mary, who is the greatest of all the Saints.
   Let us ask her to intercede on our behalf. Let us look to her as our shining example of Christian faith. Let us learn from her purity, her humility, and her obedience. And most of all may she to guide us to a deeper, richer, and fuller knowledge of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.   


"Thou was called the 'Holy of Holies'"

 "Ever-pure Bearer of God"

 "Thou art 'The Sanctuary'"

 "Thou art the 'Urn of God' or the 'Holy Golden Pot'"

 "Thou art ‘The Golden Candlestick'"

 "Thou art ‘The Censer of Gold'"

 "Thou art ‘The Garden of Delight'"

 "Beautiful Dove"

 "Thou art ‘like the rod of Aaron’"

 "Thou art greater than the high priest and thou art more honorable than the prophets."

 "In thee there is majesty of appearance which is greater than the majesty of the Seraphim and Cherubim."

 "Thou art the 'Glory of Our Race.'"

 "Thou art 'She Who Must Beg for Life for Our Souls.'"

 "The Perfect (or absolute) Virgin."

 "Thou art 'The Ladder Reaching from Heaven to Earth' on which the angels of God do ascend and descend, which Jacob saw."

 "Thou art 'The Burning Bush'"

 "Thou art that 'Field Wherein no Seed was Sown,' and yet from thee came forth the Fruit of Life."

 "Thou art the 'Treasure House' which Joseph bought and found therein a pearl, a precious gem, that is Eyesus Kristos our Redeemer."

 "The Joy to the Angels"

 "Thou art worthy to be called the 'God-Bearer.'"

 "The Mother of All Living Beings"

 "The Spiritual Mountain"

 "The greatness of the Virgin whom God has chosen is beyond ayone to describe."

 "Thou art symbolized in the pure twig and true vessel representing the Right Faith of the saints, our Fathers."

 "The 'Mother of the Resplendent Light.'"

 "Pure Virgin, Mother of the Light"

 "The Throne of the King Whom the Cherubim Carry"

 "Second Heaven upon the Earth"

 "The Gate that Lets in the Rising Sun"

 "The Pure Bride Chamber of the Holy Bridegroom"

 "Country of God"

 "The Abode of All Who Rejoice"

 "Thou art the 'True Cloud' and hast shown us the water from the rain."

 "The Spotless Virgin"

 "O Pure Mariyam in whom there is no blemish"

 "O undefiled Vessel that is perfect and spotless"

 "O Garden that is endowed with reason"

 "Thou art 'The Beauty of Praise'"

 "O Thorn-bush, who was not consumed by the fire of the Godhead"

 "O Maid and Virgin Mother, heaven and the heavenly, who carried in thine own body Him Who is born aloft on the Cherubim."

 "The Glory of Mariyam is greater than all of the saints."

 "She was worthy to receive the Word of the Father."

 "Greater is she than the Cherubim and superior to the Seraphim, for she became the Ark (or Tabernacle) of One of the Holy Trinity."

 "She is Jerusalem, the land of the prophets and the joyful habitation of all the saints."

 "Ezekiel the Prophet testified concerning her and said, 'I see a sealed door in the east, sealed with a great and wonderful seal, and no one save the God of Powers has entered through it. He has gone in through it and came out.' (Ezekiel 43:4-5; 44:13)"

 "The Virgin is the Door who brought the Redeemer ot us, and after bringing Him forth, she remained a virgin."

 "Thou art complete and Blessed, for thou found grace from the King of Glory Who is God in Truth."

 "Praise and glory belong to thee all the more from all who dwell upon the earth."   

 "The Bush which Moses saw burning in the desert with its wood remaining unconsumed signifies Mariyam, the Spotless Virgin."

 "On account of Eve was the door of the Garden shut up, and through Mariyam the Virgin it is opened to us again and we are permitted to eat of the Tree of Life in the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Christ."

 "After she brought Him forth, her virginity was not lost, and it became manifest that she was the Bearer of God."

 "From woman was given the Lord, the word of the Father, Who is called Emmanuel. On account of this we beseech her at all times to intercede on our behalf to her Beloved son for the forgiveness of our sins."

 "She was beneficent towards all the saints and patriarchs in that she brought to them Him for Whom they awaited; and she brought to the prophets Him Whose coming they prohesied; and to the apostles she brought Him in Whose name they were to preach to all the ends of the world. From her came forth Him for Whom the martyrs and the faithful were to undergo struggle, that is Eyesus Kristos."

 "Thou alone, O Lady who brought forth God, art the 'Mother of Light.'"

 "Blessed art thou, 'Greater than the Heavens and Higher than the earth.'"

 "Thou transcends the conception of every mind, O Mariyam the Virgin. Who is able to describe thy greatness, for there is none with whom thou may be compared. The angels magnify thee and the Seraphim praise thee."

 "Greater art thou than all women who have received grace and honor."

 "O Mariyam, the Bearer of God, 'The Spiritual City wherein God the Most High took up His abode.'"

 "Mariyam the Virgin is 'The Vessel of Priceless Ointment,' 'The Fountainhead (or spring) of the Water of Life. The fruit of her womb has saved the whole world."

 "The Trusted Advocate of the Human Race"

 "Honored art thou by all, thou who hast become 'The Dwelling Place of the Word of the Father.'"

 "Thou art the tent which is pitched, which gathers together the Christian people and teaches them to worship the Life-giving Trinity."

 "Thou hast born the Pillar of Fire which Moses saw, even the Son of God Who came and dwelt in thy womb."

 "Thou became the Ark for Him Who created heaven and earth, which the earth cannot contain."

 "Thou art 'The Ladder which Leads to Heaven.'"

 "Thou art brighter than the sun."

 "Thou art the Eastern Horizon where rises the brilliant star Whose appearance the saints awaited with joy and gladness."

 "Pure and Bright art thou in everything, O Holy One, worthy of all praise. Thou who hast held the Lord in thine arms."

 "Rejoice, thou who art full of grace. We marvel at thy greatness, O devoted Virgin, and we ascribe joy to thee with the Angel Gabriel; for the Fruit of thy womb is the source of salvation for our race, and has brought us nigh unto God His Father."

 "Thou art 'The Young Shoot from the Root of David.'"

 "Thou became 'The Second Heaven on Earth' thou 'Spotless God-Bearer.'"

 "Thou art 'The Tent of the Holy of Holies' wherein the Ark which was covered all over with plates of gold and had therein the Tablets of the Covenant and the golden urn with the manna signifying the Son of God."

 "Rejoice thou 'Garden Paradise' which provides for the Lamb that speaks, even the Son of the Father who abides forever."

 "Thou art called 'The Mother of Kristos the King.'"

 "Thou art 'The Ladder' on which Jacob saw the Son of God; for thou carried in thy womb Him Who could not be touched."

 "Thou hast become 'Our Intercessor to Our Lord Eyesus Kristos,' Who was incarnate of thee for our salvation."

 "O Blessed and Undefiled Bride Chamber."

 "The Unblemished Virgin"

 "The Undefiled Vessel"

 "The Glory of All the World"

 "The Light which Shall Never be Put Out"

 "The Shrine which Shall Never be Abandoned"

 "Staff of the Faith"

 "The Never Failing Support of the Saints"



O Our Lady, the Virgin Saint Mariyam, in St. Gabriel’s greetings: “Peace be unto you.” Holy and pure, O Mother of the Almighty God: “Peace be unto you.” Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. Hail Mary, full of grace, pray for us before Our Lord Jesus Christ that He may forgive us for our sins.



Selam,

GEBRE MENFES KIDUS
“Servant of the Holy Spirit”
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 01:14:36 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
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