Approaching Mary, Mother of God
Neither human tongue nor angelic mind is able worthily to praise her through whom it is given to us to look clearly upon the Lord’s glory.
— Saint John of Damascus (645–749)
Scripture of the Day
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days.
Church Teaching / Reading
- Defining the Dogma of the Assumption (Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950)
- Church believes in Mary’s assumption (Pope Saint John Paul the Great, General Audience, July 2, 1997)
- Pope Saint John Paul the Great Homily on Feast of the Assumption (August 15, 1997)
- A Scriptural approach to understanding Mary as the new Ark of the Covenant (St Peter’s List, 2012)
- Three sermons on the assumption (Saint John Damascene, 8th century)
- Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Church in America)
Who is the Theotokos?
She is the ardent intercessor of her Son, Christ God, for all those who entreat her.
She is the calm harbor of all those buffeted by waves, who rescues them from spiritual and fleshly waves.
She is the guide on the way of life for all who have gone astray.
She is the one who seeks, converts those who are lost.
She is the help and support of those who are afflicted.
She is the intercessor and mediator of those who are penitent.
And I will say even more than the above: She is the resurrection of the fallen Adam.
She is the destruction of Eve’s tears.
She is the comforter of those who mourn.
She is the throne of the king, who bears the One who bears all.
She is the one who renews the old world.
She is the ladder that reaches to heaven, by which God descended to the earth.
She is the bridge that leads from earth to Paradise.
She is the wonder of angels, and she is the wound of demons and their destruction.
She is the root of the incorruptible shoot.
She is the tree of immortal fruit.
She worked on the worker, the lover of humanity.
She sprouted forth the planter of life …
— Saint Maximus the Confessor (circa 580–662), The Life of the Virgin