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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Conception of the Mother of God

The following is an extract from "The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, the Birthgiver of God," by St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco. It comes from the chapter dealing with the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the chapter, St. John gives the history of the development of this false teaching and clearly outlines how it dishonors the Mother of God.

In the extract, St. John quotes St. Epiphanius the Wonderworker of Cyprus and contemporary of St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople.

'But we can say with the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper" (Panarion, "Against the Collyridians"). This Holy Father accuses those who give Her an almost divine worship: "Let Mary be in honor, but let worship be given to the Lord" (same source). "Although Mary is a chosen vessel, still she was a woman by nature, not to be distinguished at all from others." (same source). "One should not revere the saints above what is proper, but should revere their Master. Mary is not God, and did not receive a body from heaven, but from the joining of man and woman; and according to the promise, like Isaac, She was prepared to take part in the Divine Economy. But, on the other hand, let none dare foolishly to offend the Holy Virgin" (St. Epiphanius, "Against the Antidikomarionites").'

To read the whole text of St. John's book, click on the link to the right: "The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, the Birthgiver of God".


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12:02 AM  

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Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of God, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the Savior of our souls.