Blessed Virgin Mary

 

 

The Orthodox Church expresses reverence toward the Blessed Virgin by the many feast days commemorating the various events in Her life.
In prayers the Virgin Mary is called
Theotokos, which in Greek means the Mother of God, since the One Who was born from Her was at the time of conception and always will be the true God.


Many Christian preachers and poets composed prayers, songs of praise in honor of the Virgin Mary. With all this reverence for the
Blessed Virgin Mary, Theotokos, it is consoling and enlightening to learn how she lived, how she prepared herself, and how she blossomed to such a spiritual height as to become the receptacle for the incarnate Word of God.


Several prophecies of the Old Testament foretold of the incarnation of the Son of God and of the blessed Woman who would become a tool for the salvation of mankind.
The very first promise concerning the Redeemer, heard by our fallen ancestors Adam and Eve, contained a prophecy about a special Woman. God said to the devil: "I shall put enmity between thee and the Woman and between thy seed and Her Seed" (Genesis 3:15
). It should be noted that during the time of the Old Testament the progeny were always called the seed or descendent of a male parent. Only here is the Redeemer-to-Come referred to as the Seed of the Woman, and this was the first indication that He would have no human father. Many centuries afterward the prophet Isaiah added important details to this first prophecy of Genesis.  He said that the Woman, Who will give birth to the Messiah-Emmanuel, will be a virgin. "God Himself shall give you a sign," explained the prophet Isaiah to the disbelieving descendants of King David, "the Virgin shall accept into her womb and bear a Son, and shall name Him Emmanuel, which means: God is with us" (Isaiah 7:14). Even though the word "Virgin"  did not seem right to the ancient Hebrews, since a birth without fail  conjectured conjugal cohabitation, they did not dare to substitute another  more "appropriate" word, for example, "woman." Another important message in the prophecy of Isaiah about the coming Messiah is that He will be God Himself. Hence the title Theotokos "birth-giver of God" given to the Virgin Mary by the ancient Church.

 

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