August 2019 Letter
August is the month of the fast of Virgin Mary. We would like to take this opportunity to learn from some of the sayings of our holy fathers about St. Mary:
- About her motherhood for Christ the Incarnate Logos:
- Augustine: “Mary carried Him in her mind before she bore Him in her body … Mary’s motherhood wasn’t of value for her, if she had not carried Christ first in her heart with joy”.
- Ephraim the Syrian: “Mary carried the “fire” in her hands, and embraced the flame in her arms. She gave her breast to the flame to suckle, and gave to Him who feeds everyone her milk”.
- About her continuous virginity:
- Jerome: “Let them tell me how Jesus entered and the doors were closed, and I will say how Saint Mary remained a virgin after giving birth and how she became a mother without marriage”.
- Ambrose: “She was virgin not only by body but also by spirit, for the purity of her mind was untouched”.
- As for the relationship between the birth of the Lord of the Virgin and our spiritual birth of God:
- Cyril of Alexandria: “Christ took body from a woman, was born of her according to the flesh, so that humanity might be restored to Him again”.
- John Chrysostom: “If the Son of God has become the Son of David, then do not doubt that you son of Adam would become a son of God. If God has descended such depths, He has not done this in vain, but to lift us to the highest. He was born in flesh so that you would be born again according to the Spirit. He was born of a woman that you may become the Son of God”.
- Origen: “It seems that it is wrong to speak of the incarnation of the Son of God from the Holy Virgin without mentioning His incarnation also in the Church … It is fitting for each and every one of us to know the coming of the Son of God in the flesh by the pure Virgin and at the same time to realize His coming by the Spirit in each of us”.
- Ambrose: “Be careful to fulfill the will of the Father in order to be the mother of Christ”.
- In the annunciation the angel called her “full of grace”. For this the fathers say:
- Ambrose: “She was unique to be called “full of grace”, for she alone received that grace that no one else possessed, being filled with the gifts of grace”.
- In a comparison between Eve the mother of humanity, and Virgin Mary who became the mother of the new creation, they named St. Mary “Second Eve”:
- Cyril of Jerusalem: “Death came through a virgin, Eve. It was necessary that life also should come through a virgin, so that, as the serpent deceived the former, so Gabriel might bring glad tidings to the latter”.
May the blessing of St. Mary and St. Mercurius be with us all. Amen.
Belleville, August 1, 2019