The veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church
All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. The veneration of the Virgin did not begin with Rome, but began in the Early Church.
The designation of Mary as Theotokos can be found on an Egyptian papyrus fragments from the year 250 A.D., proving it was not an invention of the fifth century. The problem with many of our protestant brethren is that everyone becomes the authority, and the memory of the teachings and practices of the Early Church are forgotten, replaced with the mess that followed with individual interpretation of the Scriptures.
When we do not have Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture held side by side in importance, we go astray. The key to Orthodoxy’s claim to being the Ancient Apostolic Church preserved in all her purity, can be seen in her insistence that Holy Tradition has kept her way of worship, and her dogma, unchanged. No need for change, for the Church knows the truth of the words, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3)”.
The ancient practice for the veneration of the Holy Virgin can clearly be seen in the prayer found in Egyptian papyrus fragments from the year 250:
we take refuge
Mother of God;
may our petitions
not be abandoned
but from danger
It is liberating to discover we need not search the Bible to understand the meaning of the Word of God for ourselves. There is no need to reinvent Christianity for this modern age, in a feeble attempt to make Christianity relevant. We can even avoid the prideful arrogance of thinking we can decipher the meaning of the Bible, for we need only look to the Church for the truth that has been preserved from the very beginning. We can say with certainty that we keep to the faith of our fathers. The veneration of the Holy Virgin Mary is but one example of our connection, unbroken, with the Early Apostolic Church.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Holy Virgin “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Cathedral, San Francisco, CA.
Thursday May 28, 2015 / May 15, 2015
Afterfeast of the Ascension. Tone six.
Venerable David of the Gareji Monastery and Lukiane, Georgia (6th-7th c.) (movable holiday on the Thursday of Holy Ascension).
Venerable Pachomius the Great, founder of cenobitic monasticism (346).
St. Isaiah, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1090).
The slain Crown Prince Demetrius of Moscow (1591).
Venerable Isaiah, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1115).
Venerable Pachomius, abbot and Silvanus of Nerekhta (1384).
Venerable Euphrosynus (Eleazar), abbot, wonderworker of Pskov (1481), and his disciple St. Serapion (1480).
Venerable Achilles, bishop of Larissa (330).
Venerable Pachomius, abbot of Nerekhta (1384), and St. Silvanus, of Nerekhta.
St. Macarius (Glukharev), archimandrite, of Altai (1847).
St. Barbaras the Myrrh-gusher of Greece (9th c.) (Greek).
St. Andrew the hermit and wonderworker (Greek).
New Hieromartyrs Pachomius, archbishop of Chernigov (1938), his brother Abercius, archbishop of Zhitomir (1937), their father Priest Nicholas Kedrov (1936), and their brother-in-law Priest Vladimir Zagarsky (1937).
St. Dymphna, martyr of Geel, Flanders (7th c.) (Neth.).
St. Arethas of Verkhoturye and Valaam (1903).
St. Hallvard of Husaby.
Paul Before Agrippa
13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus. 14 When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix, 15 about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him. 16 To them I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’ 17 Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed, 19 but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”