Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


13 Entries

The Panagia is the salvation of the whole world, she is the only mother for all Christians…She has much love for the human race, especially for sinners… REF:St. Anthimos of Chios +1960

Let us all run to the Panagia in every circumstance to ask her, to have her as our aid. REF:St. Anthimos of Chios +1960

After the assent of the holy Virgin, the Holy Spirit descended on her, according to the word of the Lord which the angel spoke, purifying her, and granting her power to receive the divinity of the Word, and likewise power to bring forth. And then was she overshadowed by the enhypostatic Wisdom and Power of the most high God, the Son of God Who is of like essence with the Father as of Divine seed, and from her holy and most pure blood He formed flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, the first-fruits of our compound nature: not by procreation but by creation through the Holy Spirit: not developing the fashion of the body by gradual additions but perfecting it at once, He Himself, the very Word of God, standing to the flesh in the relation of subsistence. For the divine Word was not made one with flesh that had an independent pre-existence, but taking up His abode in the womb of the holy Virgin, He unreservedly in His own subsistence took upon Himself through the pure blood of the eternal Virgin a body of flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, thus assuming to Himself the first-fruits of man's compound nature, Himself, the Word, having become a subsistence in the flesh. So that He is at once flesh, and at the same time flesh of God the Word, and likewise flesh animated, possessing both reason and thought. Wherefore we speak not of man as having become God, but of God as having become Man. For being by nature perfect God, He naturally became likewise perfect Man: and did not change His nature nor make the dispensation an empty show, but became, without confusion or change or division, one in subsistence with the flesh, which was conceived of the holy Virgin, and animated with reason and thought, and had found existence in Him, while He did not change the nature of His divinity into the essence of flesh, nor the essence of flesh into the nature of His divinity, and did not make one compound nature out of His divine nature and the human nature He had assumed. St. John Damascene

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! The Harp of the Spirit: eighteen poems of St. Ephraim the Syrian

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! The Harp of the Spirit: eighteen poems of St. Ephrem the Syrian. [Mother of God / Mary]

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. Ignatius the God bearer

Joseph was amazed as he saw what was supernatural. He understood, O Virgin, the rain upon the fleece In thy conception without seed. And he understood the bush that burned without fire and was unconsumed, And Aaron's rod, which blossomed. Indeed, thy betrothed and guardian cried out to the priests: "A virgin gives birth, and after the birth remains a virgin. The Kontakia of Romanos, Vol. II, On the Annunciation II

Mary holds her unique position and has a `category of her own' not as a mere Virgin, but as the Virgin Mother, as the predestined Mother of the Lord. Her function in the Incarnation is twofold. On the one hand, she secures the continuity of the human race. Her Son is, in virtue of his `second nativity,' the Son of David, the Son of Abraham and of all the `forefathers' (this is emphasized by the genealogies of Jesus, in both versions). In the phrase of St. Irenaeus, He `recapitulated' in Himself the long roll of humanity,' `gathered up in Himself all nations, dispersed as they were even from Adam' and `took upon Himself the old way of creation.' But, on the other hand, He `exhibited a new sort of generation.' He was the New Adam. This was the most drastic break in the continuity, the true reversal of the previous process. And this `reversal' begins precisely with the Incarnation, with the Nativity of the `Second Man.' Fr. Georges Florovsky in The Mother of God: A Symposium, 1949

The censer, with coal and incense, is a strong weapon in my hands. It is a symbol of blessing, strength and power, given to me by God, to further my prayer for all the people of the world, especially for the members of the holy, ecumenical, apostolic Church; it is a symbol of the ardent, fragrant grace of the Holy Spirit, breathing on all believers ... it also stands for an image of the Holy Mother carrying in her womb the live coal of Divinity. St. John of Kronstadt

With such a welcome does the representation of the Virgin's form cheer us, inviting us to draw not from a bowl of wine, but from a fair spectacle, by which the rational part of our soul, being watered through our bodily eyes, and given eyesight in its growth towards the divine love of Orthodoxy, puts forth in the way of fruit the most exact vision of truth. Thus, even in her images does the Virgin's grace delight, comfort and strengthen us! A virgin mother carrying in her pure arms, for the common salvation of our kind, the common Creator reclining as an infant - that great and ineffable mystery of the Dispensation! A virgin mother, with a virgin's and a mother's gaze, dividing in indivisible form her temperament between both capacities, yet belittling neither by its incompleteness. St. Photius the Great, Homily on the uncovering of an icon of the Theotokos

"God rests in holy places; that is (in) the Theotokos and all the Saints. These are they who have become likenesses of God as far as it is possible, since they have chosen to cooperate with divine election. Therefore, God dwells in them." St. John of Damascus

"Gregory of Nazianzen presided over those who maintain the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, and assembled them together in a little dwelling, which had been altered into the form of a house of prayer, by those who held the same opinions and had a like form of worship. It subsequently became one of the most conspicuous in the city, and is so now, not only for the beauty and number of its structures, but also for the advantages accruing to it from the visible manifestations of God. For the power of God was there manifested, and was helpful both in waking visions and in dreams, often for the relief of many diseases and for those afflicted by some sudden transmutation in their affairs. The power was accredited to Mary, the mother of god, the holy virgin, for she does manifest herself in this way." Sozomen, Church History 7:5 [A.D. 444]NPNF II 2:378-379

She was begotten like the cherubim, from pure and spotless [clay]. For while she was still in the loins of her father Joachim, her mother Anna received a message from a holy angel, who said to her, 'Thy seed shall be spoken of throughout all the world.' Therefore Anna brought her to the temple of the Lord as an offering.

And during all her time there, the maiden stood alongside Christ the King, 'at his right hand, splendidly robed in a robe of gold,' as the prophet says 'Listen, daughter, and see, and incline thine ear; forget thy people and thy father's house. The King greatly desireth thy beauty; he is thy Lord -- pay homage to Him' (Ps. 44:10-13). Theoteknos, Bishop of Livias, And Encomium on the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.

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