Happy Birthday to The Virgin Mary   Leave a comment

It is great thing to be able to share your birthday with The Theotokos, or in English: God-Bearer. According to the old Julian Calendar, September 8th is the Feast Day of the Nativity of the Theotokos. According to the Apocryphal Gospel of James 4:1; 7:1- we read,

And behold an angel of the Lord appeared, saying unto her [Mary’s Mother]: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath hearkened unto thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive and bear, and thy seed shall be spoken of in the whole world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I bring forth either male or female, I will bring it for a gift unto the Lord my God, and it shall be ministering unto Him all the days of its life … And the child became three years old, and Ioacim [Mary’s Father] said: Call for the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take every one a lamp, and let them be burning, that the child turn not backward and her heart be taken captive away from the temple of the Lord. And they did so until they were gone up into the temple of the Lord. And the priest received her [Mary] and kissed her and blessed her and said: The Lord hath magnified thy name among all generations: in thee in the latter days shall the Lord make manifest his redemption unto the children of Israel. And he made her to sit upon the third step of the altar. And the Lord put grace upon her and she danced with her feet and all tile house of Israel loved her.

In the predominantly Western Catholic Tradition or the Latin Rite it is believed that, Mary was Immaculately Conceived, this doctrine holds that Mary was born without the guilt of Original Sin and lived a sinless life, in order that she may conceive the Son of God. However in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Tradition’s, they disagree with this doctrine, believing that Mary still had Ancestral Sin on her but God kept her from having actual/personal sins in her life. This disagreement largely stems from the Augustinian notions on the transmission of Original Sin.

The Oldest Known Byzantine Prayer of Mary Reads:

Beneath your compassion we take refuge
O Virgin Theotokos
Despise not our prayer in our need
But deliver us from danger
For you alone are pure and blessed.

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