Tag Archives: Theotokos

St. Macarius of Optina: The thoughts that vex and annoy us . . .

Photo of St. Marcarius of Optina“The thoughts that vex and annoy us have many distinctions: a provocation, or an attack of a thought, is not a sin but is a test of our free will, to what it is inclined—to the thought or to opposition of it. However, when there is agreement and communion with these passions it is considered to be a sin and repentance is needed. He who does not have the strength to oppose them himself must hasten to God, cast down his infirmity and implore His help and the help of the mother of God. When someone is conquered by thoughts it is a sign that pride preceded them, and therefore, he must humble himself more.”

+ St. Macarius of Optina, quoted from Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina

St. John of Damascus: On the Dormition of the Theotokos

Iocn of Dormition“Thus though art also the fountain of true light, the inexhaustible treasury of life itself, the most fruitful source of blessing, who has won for us and brought us all good things — though for a while thou wast covered corporeally with death; nonetheless, thou dost pour out pure and inexhaustible streams of immense light, immortal life and true happiness, rivers of grace, fountains of healing and everlasting blessing.”Book Life of the Virgin Mary Theotokos

+ St. John of Damascus, PG 96, 744C, quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, p 486.

St. Gregory of Tours: On the Dormition

Icon of Dormition“Finally when blessed Mary having completed the course of this life, and was to be called from the world, all the Apostles gathered to her house from their different regions. And when they had heard that she was to be taken from the world, together they kept watch with her; a lo, the Lord Jesus came with His angels. Taking her soul, He gave it the the Archangel Michael and withdrew. At dawn the Apostles raised her body with a pallet and they placed it in a vault and they guarded it awaiting the coming of the Lord. And lo, a second time the Lord stood by them and he ordered the holy body to be taken and borne to Paradise; there having rejoined the soul exultant with His elect, it enjoys the good things of eternity which shall know no end.”Book Life of the Virgin Mary Theotokos

+ St. Gregory of Tours, The Book of Miracles (Libri Miraculorum in PL 71, 708), quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, p 484.

St. Hierotheos: Extract from the Ecomium at the Dormition of the Theotokos

Icon of Dormition of the TheotokosWhen was such a wonder of wonders ever seen by men? How does the Queen of all lie breathless? How has the Mother of Jesus reposed? Thou, O Virgin, wast the preaching of the prophets; thou art heralded by us. All the people venerate thee; the angels glorify thee. Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, and through thee, with us. With Gabriel we hymn thee, with the angels we glorify thee; and with the prophets we praise thee, for they announced thee.

Habakkum beheld thee as an overshadowed mountain, for thou art covered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Daniel beheld thee as a mountain from whom, seedlessly, the solid and strong King, the Christ, issued forth. Jacob saw thee as a ladder upon Whom Christ came down to eat and drink with us. And although we, His slaves, contemplate ascending into the heavens, yet thou hast ascended before all. Rejoice, O Virgin, for Gideon beheld thee as a fleece. David saw thee as the virgin daughter of the King. Isaias called thee Mother of God and Ezekiel a gate. All the prophets prophesied thee!

What shall we call thee, O Virgin? Paradise. It is meet, for thou hast blossomed forth the flower of incorruption, Christ, Who is the sweet-smelling fragrance for the souls of men. Virgin? Verily, a virgin thou art, for without the seed of man thou gavest birth to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou wast a virgin before birth and virgin at birth and still a virgin after. Shall we call thee Mother? This is meet too; for as a Mother thou gavest birth to Christ the King of all. Shall we name thee Heaven? This thou art also for upon thee rose the Sun of righteousness. Wherefore, rejoice O Virgin, and hasten to thy Son’s rest and dwell in the tents of His beloved. Hasten there and make ready a palace and remember us and all thy people also, too. O Lady Mother of God, for both we and thyself are of the race of Adam. On account of this, intercede on our behalf; for this supplicate thy Son Whom thou hast held in thine embrace, and help us in our preaching and then afterwards that we may find rest in our hopes. Go forward, O Virgin from earth to heaven, from corruption to incorruption, from the sorrow of this world to the joy of the Kingdom of the heavens, from this perishable earth to the everlasting Heaven. Hasten, O Virgin to the heavenly light, to the hymns of the angels, to the glory of the saints from all the ages. Hasten, O Virgin, to the place of thy Son, to His Kingdom, to His power, where the angels chant, the prophets glorify and the Archangels hymn the Mother of the King, who is the lit lampstand, wider than the heavens, the firmament above, the protection of Christians, and the mediatress of our race.”

Book Life of the Virgin Mary Theotokos+ St. Hierotheos, Quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, pp 476-77. Originally sourced from The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church (in Greek), see footnote 134, pg 592, in The Life of the Virgin Mary for greater detail.

Elder Thaddeus: The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. . . .

Icon of the Theotokos“The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind. How many churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many healing springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy! She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her.”Book Elder Thaddeus Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

+ Elder Thaddeus, Homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos delivered Auguest 15/28

Quoted from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

St. John of Damascus: It was right that the eyewitnesses and minsters of the Word should see the Dormition . . .

Icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos“It was right that the eyewitnesses and minsters of the Word should see the Dormition of His Mother according to the flesh, even the final mystery concerning her:  hence, they might be witnesses not only to the Ascension of the Saviour but also it to the translation of her who gave Him birth. Assembled from all parts obey divine power, they came to Sion, and sped on her way to heaven the Virgin who is higher than the cherubim.”

+ St. John of Damascus, Lity Tone One for the Feast of Dormition

Quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos

St. John of Damascus: If her Fruit, Whom none may comprehend . . .

Iocn of Dormition“If her Fruit, Whom none may comprehend, on Whose account she was called a heaven, submitted of His own will to burial as a mortal, how should she, who gave Him birth without knowing a man, refuse it?”

+ St. John of Damascus, Matins Canon, Ode Four, Tone Four for the Feast of Dormition

Quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos

The Synodikon of Orthodoxy: To them who do not accept with a pure and simple faith and with all their soul and heart the extraordinary miracles . . .

All SaintsTo them who do not accept with a pure and simple faith and with all their soul and heart the extraordinary miracles of our Saviour and God and of the Holy Theotokos who without stain gave birth to Him, and of the other saints, but who attempt by sophistic demonstration and words to traduce them as being impossible, or to misinterpret them according to their own way of thinking, and to present them according to their own opinion,

Anathema! Anathema! Anathema!

+ The Synodikon of Orthodoxy

St. Mary of Egypt: Prayer of Repentance

Icon of St. Mary of Egypt“O Lady, Mother of God, who gave birth in the flesh to God the Word, I know, O how well I know, that it is no honour or praise to thee when one so impure and depraved as I look up to thy icon, O ever-virgin, who didst keep thy body and soul in purity. Rightly do I inspire hatred and disgust before thy virginal purity. But I have heard that God Who was born of thee became man on purpose to call sinners to repentance. Then help me, for I have no other help. Order the entrance of the church to be opened to me. Allow me to see the venerable Tree on which He Who was born of thee suffered in the flesh and on which He shed His holy Blood for the redemption of sinners an for me, unworthy as I am. Be my faithful witness before thy son that I will never again defile my body by the impurity of fornication, but as soon as I have seen the Tree of the Cross I will renounce the world and its temptations and will go wherever thou wilt lead me.”

+ Prayer of St. Mary of Egypt while standing in front of the icon of the Theotokos at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Read the Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Matins: O Virgin, in the hour of my death, rescue me from the hands of the demons . . .

Icon of the Theotokos“O Virgin, in the hour of my death rescue me from the hands of the demons, and the judgment, and the accusation, and the frightful testing, and the bitter toll-houses, and the fierce prince, and the eternal condemnation, O Mother of God.”

— 8th Ode of the Matins canon on Friday in the 4th tone