She is our only Mediatress, the only Mother of Life, and the holy Fathers reserved the office of mediation for Christ and His mother only. Yes, we have other intercessors to God, but the Orthodox faith interposes neither saints nor angels as mediators and intercessors to her. In the vast tradition of liturgy and piety of the Fathers, there is not a single request to angels or to saints for their intercession to the Mediatress


The members of this New Israel are a new, “holy nation, a peculiar people,” an ethnos without tribes or ethnicity, a nation with no abiding or ruling city here. In the New Israel, not only priests and kings but all the people are anointed with a new anointing, the holy chrism and seal of the Holy Spirit, into “a royal priesthood”39 inherited not through “the will of the flesh,”40 not through a family, tribe, or


Mother and symbol of the Church In Old Israel, only the kings and the priests were anointed. The anointing was powerless, prefiguring but not conferring the seal of the Holy Spirit. In the Virgin, the barren church of Old Israel is reborn as the New Israel, and the royal and priestly lines are recapitulated and become one. The fruit of her womb is the one High Priest and King of the New Israel Who, in


Her mediation and Christ’s mediation operate as one in an unceasing, indivisible synergy in Heaven and in the world. Therefore, she remits sins, intercedes, saves, heals, enlightens, sanctifies, guides, guards, protects; she routs demons and barbarian hordes, delivers us from dangers, turns tides, calms storms. A profound vesper hymn clearly distinguishes the unique nature of the intercessions of the Theotokos: “Unveil to us the boundless sea of your mercy and goodness and thereby wash away


The New Testament gives us the following vivid example of the power of her mediation with motherly boldness before the Lord. When the Savior attended the marriage at Cana, the time had not yet come according to the divine plan for His public miracles to begin. Therefore, replying to His mother’s mediation to Him because the host’s wine had been exhausted, He said, “Woman, what hath this to do with Me and with thee? For


One mediation of the Mediator and the Mediatress “She did not mediate only on behalf of certain chosen races, but between God and the entire human race. Standing between both, she made God the Son of Man and men the sons of God. “7 Her mediation is more than a parallel to her Son’s; it is the same mediation because she is the mother of His humanity. And Christ’s mediation belongs to the humanity of


“She came into life for Him, to serve in the salvation of the world so that the ancient will of God for the Incarnation may be fulfilled through her.”1 The Virgin’s mediation, then, is central to the eternal mystery of the Incarnation. She was always the Mediatress. “The communion of God the Begetter of All Things with the creature He formed, and His sharing in its nature”2 came about by the mediation of the Virgin.

The Dormition Fast of the Theotokos

The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the fifteenth of August, preceded by a two-week fast. This feast, which is also sometimes the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother. It proclaims that Mary has been “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence. As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there

Renewal (Bright) Friday, Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

The Feast of the Life Giving Spring The icon of Life Giving Spring has a wonderful and comforting appearance. Depicted is an enormous stone chalice, standing in a wide reservoir, filled with water. Above the chalice, holding in Her arms the Pre-eternal Infant and wearing a crown, hovers the Most Holy Virgin. To the reservoir filled with life-giving water have streamed those who thirst. The unfortunate and life-weary drink of the water and become strong

Saint Mary of Egypt and Zosimas the Priest (Part I)

The Story of Mary ~ Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph. D., Brown University The story of Mary of Egypt as it is written for the church is really three separate stories: The story of Mary’s life, the story of the priest Zosimas, and the story of their experience together. Without doubt, the action and thrills come in Mary’s story, which she tells to Zosimas when he finds her wandering in the desert. She had been