"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Most Holy Mother of God



Sunday, December 9, 2012
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t. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was the youngest daughter of the priest Nathan from Bethlehem, descended from the tribe of Levi. She married St. Joachim (September 9), who was a native of Galilee. 

The righteous Joachim and Anna were childless for fifty years of their married life. In their old age the Archangel Gabriel appeared to each one of them separately, announced to them that they would be the parents of a daughter, Who would bring blessings to the whole human race. Then St. Anna conceived by her husband and after nine months bore a daughter blessed by God and by all generations of men: the Most-holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos.

The Orthodox Church does not accept the teaching that the Mother of God was exempted from the consequences of ancestral sin (death, corruption, sin, etc.) at the moment of her conception by virtue of the future merits of Her Son. This view was popularized by the Western Church under the influence of erroneous teachings of Blessed Augustine. Only Christ was born perfectly holy and sinless, as St Ambrose of Milan teaches in Chapter Two of his Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. The Holy Virgin was like everyone else in Her mortality, and in being subject to temptation, although She committed no personal sins. She was not a deified creature removed from the rest of humanity. If this were the case, She would not have been truly human, and the nature that Christ took from Her would not have been truly human either. If Christ does not truly share our human nature, then the possibility of our salvation is in doubt.
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Troparion - Tone 4
Today the bonds of barrenness are broken,
God has heard the prayers of Joachim and Anna.
He has promised them beyond all their hopes to bear the Maiden of God,
by whom the uncircumscribed One was born as mortal Man;
He commanded an angel to cry to her:
“Rejoice, O full of grace,
the Lord is with you!”
Kontakion - Tone 4
 “Today You have shown forth...”
Today the universe rejoices,
for Anna has conceived the Theotokos through God's dispensation,
for she has brought forth the one who is to bear the ineffable Word!

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