THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY
Our Lady Virgin Mary is of Juda's tribe and the descendant of King David. She was born in 14 B.C. and was her pious parent's, Yovagim and Hane, the only daughter. When she was three years old, her parents took her to the temple of God as a vowed to Him and they died.
The priests and pious women brought her up. They taught her the worship, the virtuous deeds, the Hebrew language, the Old Testament, spinning wool, and weaving linen and silk until she was fourteen. Then she was espoused to a veracious man called Joseph the son of Jacob, who was a relative of her.
The chief of angels, Gabriel announced to her the descent of the Holy Ghost on her and the birth of Jesus the Redeemer of the world by her. She was pregnant and gave birth to Him while she was virgin in a heavenly miracle which astonished the world. She brought Him up in the house of His foster father Joseph. where He lived. She glanced His first miracle, heard Him preaching His gospel and saw His crucifixion and death in flesh. She believed in His resurrection and witnessed along with the apostles His ascension to heaven and the descending of the Divine Spirit on the day of Pentecost. She lived in the house of St. John the apostle to whom our Lord Christ entrusted her when He was crucified. He took care of her and she persisted on worship and meditation in the heavenly mysteries until she died. The holy apostles conducted the funeral service with a great pomp and her virteous body was buried in Jessemany Village outside of Jerusalem. Afterwards God carried her to His heavenly paradise. This was around 56 A.D. in the sounder novals, after she had lived most probably 70 years.
Our Lady The Virgin Mary's status in Christendom
Our Lady the holy Virgin Mary, the Bearer of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnated God, has a lofty position in Christendom higher than that of the angels, prophets, apostles, martyrs and doctors of the Church, because God has chosen, purified, sanctified and preferred to her to all women of earth. She is the diadem of the virgins and the crown of the Christians. Elizabeth the aged mother of St. John the Baptist called her 'Mother of God' (St. Luke 1:43).
St. Mary is the mediator for all grace and advocate for all the devotees before God. The historians and narrators have registered the different graces and miracles that the believers had won through her. Millions honour her with sweetest songs and seek refuge in her intercession.
The Syriac Orthodox Church calls Mary, 'Mother of God' ('Theotokos'), because she gave birth to Christ, God truly incarnate. She is revered as perpetual virgin and mother of God; and she is first among the saints. However the concept of Immaculate Conception for St. Mary is not accepted. According to the teachings of the Church, God is pleased to respond to petitions offered to Him routed through the intercession of St. Mary the Virgin Mother. This was the constant teaching of the holy fathers since the beginning of the Christian Church.
The Syrian Church opens her daily worship by glorifying the Almighty God. After that She uses special invocations in which she praises our Lady the Virgin, and seeks her meditation, in the night, morning, and evening prayers except the most of the lent days. Besides, she recites in her festivals, prose invocations and chants wonderful hymns in which she describes her high virtues and everlasting merits, in a way that captivates the minds and delights the ears. In the sacramental services and prayers of the Church from the early periods, the mediation of St. Mary was an integral part. The altars of the churches are sanctified invariably with the name of St. Mary over and above the other saints.
In our common prayers the Lord’s prayer beginning “Our Father which are in Heaven etc” is generally followed by a repetition of the message of angel Gabriel - St. Luke 1:28- Hail Mary etc and the words of praise of Elizabeth - St. Luke 1:42 - “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your words.” We finish it with an appeal for her mediation on our behalf for ever before Almighty even at the moment of our death.
In the Syrian Orthodox Church, along with the Holy Mass a textual prayer service in the name of St. Mary is generally conducted at the request of devotees for St. Mary’s intercession. The text for this can be seen in the book of ‘Qurbana Kramam’. In Malankara it was first published in Syriac by St. Gregorios of Parumala at the behest of Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Among all the churches of Kerala, the St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church at Manarcad near Kottayam has a very special place. Millions visit this church seeking her intercession, more particularly on the 8 day-lent period in September, commemorating her birth. May God accept her mediation for the world, Amen.
The famous Icon of Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus in the Altar of the
Morth Mariam Jacobite Syrian church, Manarcad (India)