My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHAL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
ON SEPTEMBER 8TH OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH COMMEMORATES THE HOLY NATIVITY OF THE EVER VIRGIN MARY THE THEOTOKOS (MOTHER OF GOD)
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn in Fourth Mode
Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.
Kontakion Hymn in the Fourth Mode
In your holy birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life.
"Your name, O Mary, is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the fragrance of Divine Grace. Let this ointment of salvation enter the innermost recesses of our souls" (Saint Ambrose of Milan).
The Holy Virgin Mary was born of her aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the tribe of David and her mother of the tribe of Aaron, and so she was of royal blood from her father and priestly blood from her mother. By this, she foreshadowed Him Who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were already old and had no children, and, because of this, were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility, they prayed with tears that God would bring joy to their old age with the gift of a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and Sarah, giving them their son Isaac. God, Almighty and All-Seeing, gave them a joy far exceeding all their expectations and their wildest dreams, for He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God; He illumined them not only with temporal joy but with eternal. God gave them just one daughter, who later gave them just one grandson--but what a daughter and what a Grandson! Mary full of grace, blessed among women, the temple of the Holy Spirit, altar of the Living God, table ofliving bread, ark of God's holy things, tree of the most delicious fruits, glory of the human race, praise of womanhood, fount of virginity and purity--this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. Born in Nazareth, she was after three years taken to the Temple in Jerusalem, whence she returned again to Nazareth and shortly afterwards heard the tidings of the Holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, from Her Most Pure and virginal body.
THE AXION (IT IS MEET...)
It is meet indeed to bless Thee, the Ever-Blessed and Most Pure and Mother of Our God. Thee that art more honorable than the Cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, who without spot of sin didst bear God the Logos/Word; Thee, verily the Mother of God, we magnify. [Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom]
Saint Dionysius the Areopagite writes of the immeasurable joy, the outer and inner radiance and the indescribable fragrance that he sensed in the presence of the Holy Mother of God when he visited her in Jerusalem. In his enthusiasm, he says that if he did not acknowledge the One, True God, he would acknowledge her, the Holy Virgin Mary, as God. The Holy Virgin made such a strong and deep impression even during her earthly life, and she received an incomparably greater power after her physical death when, by God's will, she was exalted above the Hosts of Angels. Her power comes from her ceaseless prayer to God for the faithful, for all who turn to her for help. Saint John of Novgorod, when he and his people prayed to her for help against an enemy army, knew that, at that moment, she was praying to God with tears for them, and Novgorod was miraculously saved. As she was in travail at the crucifixion of her Son, so she is in travail for all the weak who turn to her for help. It can be said that the whole earth is protected by the miracles of her mercy. There lives in Belgrade today a care proprietor, C.J., born in the village of Labunishte near Struga, whose mother took him, blind, to the monastery of Kalishto and where, after the priest had prayed over him before the holy icon of the Holy Mother of God, he had received his sight. The first monk at Pochaev saw a flaming pillar stretching from earth to heaven, and in this flaming pillar he saw the Holy Mother of God. She was standing on a rock, and a healing spring arose at the spot, and today gives healing to many of the sick. (Source: The Prologue from Ochrid)
DIVINE SERVICES FOR SEPTEMBER 8TH:
Orthros (Matins) at 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God