August 2018 Letter
The month of August always reminds us of the Virgin Saint Mary. Part of the prayers prayed during the glorification of St. Mary is taken from Sunday Theotokia, which starts by: “seven times every day …”. This part is full of symbols of St. Mary from the Old Testament, we will contemplate on only few of them:
- Hail to you Mary the Mother of the refuge: for she has given birth to God who is the refuge of all mankind, as pointed in the old testament in many verses, like: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psa 18: 2).
- Hail to you Mary the rejoicing of Eve: the virgin gave birth to Christ, by whom the promise to Eve that her seed will bruise the head of the serpent was fulfilled, so Eve was rejoicing because of the fulfilment of the promise: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel” (Gen 3: 15).
- Hail to you Mary the rejoicing of Jacob: the psalm refers to the rejoicing of Jacob when he observes the salvation of the people of God from the captivity of the devil: “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad” (Psa 14: 7).
- Hail to you Mary the pride of Judah: when Jacob blessed his children the final blessings, he honored Judah by a special one. This was fulfilled through Christ who was born of the tribe of Judah: “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you” (Gen 49: 8).
- Hail to you Mary the honor of Samuel: the voice of the Lord was heard rarely by his people in the Old Testament because of their sins, till Samuel the righteous prophet was born. Because of his righteousness and honor, the Lord started to appear again to His people, which was fulfilled after that and without interruption by the incarnation of Christ: “Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Sam 3: 21).
- Hail to you Mary the steadfastness of Job the just: after the severe trials of Job, he cries to the Lord that his faith is strong because he observed God within the trial. We also, have observed God through His incarnation of the virgin St. Mary, thus becoming the steadfastness of our faith towards the trials that we go through: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You” (Job 42: 5).
- Hail to you Mary the healing of Jeremiah: when Jeremiah shouted asking for a healing he doesn’t receive, St. Mary comes with the answer because she gave birth to Christ who brought the healing to mankind: “Why is my pain perpetual And my wound incurable, Which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail?” (Jer 15: 18).
According to our yearly tradition, our church will have daily vespers and hymns starting Monday August 13th. You can follow the schedule of service on the church website: www.smandsm.com.
May the blessing of St. Mary & St. Mercurius and all the saints be with us all. Amen
Belleville, August 1, 2018