The Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Sep­tem­ber 8 / 21 

Excerpt from the Pro­logue of Ohrid by Saint Nicholaj Velimirovic; Pub­lished by Sebas­t­ian Press; Copy­right Ser­bian Ortho­dox Dio­cese of West­ern Aus­tralia; With the Bless­ing of His Grace MAXIM Bish­op of the West­ern Amer­i­can Dio­cese of the Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church

The Holy Vir­gin Mary was born of aged par­ents, Joachim and Anna.  Her father was of the lin­eage of David, and her moth­er of the lin­eage of Aaron.  Thus, she was of roy­al birth by her father, and of priest­ly birth by her moth­er.  In this, she fore­shad­owed Him Who would be born of her as King and High Priest.  Her par­ents were quite old and had no chil­dren because of this they were ashamed before men and hum­ble before God.  In their humil­i­ty they prayed to God with tears, to bring them joy in their old age by giv­ing them a child, as He had once giv­en joy to the aged Abra­ham and his wife Sarah by giv­ing them Isaac. 

God gave them just one daughter, and she would later give them just one grand-son - but what a daughter and what a Grandson!

The Almighty and All-see­ing God reward­ed them with a joy that sur­passed all their expec­ta­tions and all their most beau­ti­ful 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 as well.  God gave them just one daugh­ter, and she would lat­er give them just one grand-son — but what a daugh­ter and what a Grand­son!  Mary, Full of grace, Blessed among women, the Tem­ple of the Holy Spir­it, the Altar of the Liv­ing God, the Table of the Heav­en­ly Bread, the Ark of God’s Holi­ness, the Tree of Sweet­est Fruit, the Glo­ry of the race of man, the praise of wom­an­hood, the Fount of vir­gin­i­ty and puri­ty — this was the daugh­ter giv­en by God to Joachim and Anna.  She was born in Nazareth, and at the age of three, was tak­en to the Tem­ple in Jerusalem.  In her young wom­an­hood she returned again to Nazareth, and short­ly there­after heard the Annun­ci­a­tion of the Holy Archangel Gabriel con­cern­ing  the birth of the Son of God, the Sav­ior of the world,  from her most pure vir­gin body.
Hymn of Praise

O great­ly desired and long await­ed one, O vir­gin, thou hast been obtained from the Lord with tears!  A bod­i­ly tem­ple of the Most-holy Spir­it shalt thou become, And shalt be called Moth­er of the Eter­nal Word.

The Burn­ing Bush the called thee.  For thou wilt receive with­in thy­self the divine fire; Ablaze with fire but not con­sumed, Thou shalt bear the Gold­en Fruit and offer it to theworld

Thou shalt be the Bear­er of Him Who bears the heav­ens, To Whom all of heav­en offers up praise!  The Mir­a­cle of mir­a­cles shall come to pass with­in thee, For thou shalt bear heav­en, thou who art “more spa­cious than the heavens!”

Thou are more pre­cious to us, O Vir­gin, than pre­cious stones, For thou art the source of sal­va­tion for mankind.  For this, may the entire uni­verse glo­ri­fy thee, O Most Holy Vir­gin, O white Turtledove!

The King of Heav­en shall desire to enter the world, And shall pass through thee, O Beau­ti­ful Gate!  O Vir­gin, when thou dost become woman thou shalt bear Christ for us; From thy body, the Sun shall blaze forth.

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