Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
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(September 8)
  • Tuesday, September 7, 6:00pm - Vesperal Divine Liturgy
"Although the Virgin, of whom Christ was born according to the flesh, came from Adam's flesh and seed, yet, because this flesh had been cleansed in many different ways by the Holy Spirit from the start, she was descended from those who had been chosen from every generation for their excellence." - St. Gregory Palamas
Scroll down for special articles, hymnography, and suggested book titles...
The Nativity of the Mother of God ~ Sept 8

Pochaev Icon of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Pochaev Icon of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Pochaev Icon of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Nativity of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Nativity of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Nativity of the Theotokos, Sept 8
Righteous Anna, Sept 9
Righteous Anna, Sept 9
Righteous Anna, Sept 9
In the city of Nazareth there dwelt a God-fearing elderly couple, Joachim, from the house of David, and Anna, from the priestly tribe of Aaron. In those days Hebrews, awaiting the Messiah, believed that any one who did not have children had in some way offended God and was being punished by having no descendants to be part of the Messiah's kingdom. Joachim and Anna grieved greatly because they were childless. Despite the ridicule and reproaches that Joachim and Anna received from their neighbors, they did not lose hope but continually prayed that God might grant them a child, which they promised to dedicate to the service of God. For their patience, their faith and their love of God and of each other, their prayers were heard: a daughter was born to them in their old age. An angel directed them to name the child Mary, which in Hebrew means "lady and hope." The one who was to be the Mother of God was born into a righteous family, known more throughout the generations for its goodness than for its royal blood.

The importance of this feast, the first in the Church calendar year (which begins September 1) is that it was the first step in preparing mankind for its promised salvation.

From: Missionary Leaflet # E50
Copyright © 1999 and Published by
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Los Angeles, CA
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

Troparion - Tone 4

Your Nativity, O Virgin,
Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
By annulling the curse,
He bestowed a blessing.
By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.

Kontakion - Tone 4

By Your Nativity, O Most Pure Virgin,
Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness;
Adam and Eve, from the corruption of death.
And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin,
celebrate and sing to you:
The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos,
the nourisher of our life!

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
The Prologue from Ohrid

The Holy Virgin Mary was born of aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the lineage of David, and her mother of the lineage of Aaron. Thus, she was of royal birth by her father, and of priestly birth by her mother. In this, she foreshadowed Him Who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were quite old and had no children. Because of this they were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility they prayed to God with tears, to bring them joy in their old age by giving them a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and his wife Sarah by giving them Isaac.

The Almighty and All-seeing God rewarded them with a joy that surpassed all their expectations and all their most beautiful dreams. For He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God. He illumined them not only with temporal joy, but with eternal joy as well. God gave them just one daughter, and she would later give them just one grandson-but what a daughter and what a Grandson!  Mary, Full of grace, Blessed among women, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Altar of the Living God, the Table of the Heavenly Bread, the Ark of God’s Holiness, the Tree of the Sweetest Fruit, the Glory of the race of man, the Praise of womanhood, the Fount of virginity and purity-this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. She was born in Nazareth, and at the age of three, was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem. In her young womanhood she returned again to Nazareth, and shortly thereafter heard the Annunciation of the Holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, from her most-pure virgin body.


The Nativity of the Most-holy Mother of God
O greatly desired and long awaited one,
O Virgin, thou hast been obtained from the Lord with tears!
A bodily temple of the Most-holy Spirit shalt thou become,
And shalt be called Mother of the Eternal Word.
The Burning Bush they called thee,
For thou wilt receive within thyself the divine fire:
Ablaze with fire but not consumed,
Thou shalt bear the Golden Fruit and offer it to the world.
Thou shalt be the Bearer of Him Who bears the heavens,
To Whom all of heaven offers up praise!

The Miracle of miracles shall come to pass within thee,
For thou shalt bear heaven, thou who art “more spacious than the heavens!”
Thou art more precious to us, O Virgin, than precious stones,
For thou art the source of salvation for mankind.
For this, may the entire universe glorify thee,
O Most-holy Virgin, O white Turtledove!
The King of Heaven shall desire to enter the world,
And shall pass through thee, O Beautiful Gate!
O Virgin, when thou dost become woman thou shalt bear Christ for us;
From thy body, the Sun shall blaze forth.



St Maximus the Confessor's

The LIFE of the VIRGIN

  • Translated, with Introduction and Notes by Stephen J. Shoemaker
  • Yale University Press, 2012


Long overlooked by scholars, this seventh-century Life of the Virgin, attributed to Maximus the Confessor, is the earliest complete Marian biography. Originally written in Greek and now surviving only in Old Georgian, it is now translated for the first time into English. It is a work that holds profound significance for understanding the history of late ancient and medieval Christianity, providing a rich source for understanding the history of Christian piety.

The Life of the Virgin is especially remarkable for its representation of Mary's prominent involvement in her son's ministry and her leadership of the early Christian community. In particular, it reveals highly developed devotion to Mary's compassionate suffering at the Crucifixion, anticipating by several centuries an influential medieval style of devotion known as "affective piety" whose origins generally have been confined to the Western High Middle Ages.



Important Addition to an Orthodox Christian Library, by Joanna Higginbotham

Five Stars: This life by St. Maximus is written in the same prayerful manner and is an excellent companion book to the life of the Holy Virgin written by the Holy Apostles Convent; especially since it appears that the Holy Apostles Convent did not have St. Maximus' account available to them.





The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos

By Holy Apostles Convent

The most complete text on the life of the Mother of God from her Conception to her Dormition and bodily translation, including her role in the Church, treated within the framework of Sacred Scriptures, Holy Tradition, Patristics and other ancient writings, together with the Liturgical and Iconographic Traditions of the Holy Orthodox Church.

This hardbound text is well-illustrated with many icons, sketches, photos, and 4 maps. The 640 page book has a gold-stamped burgundy hardcover, with acid-free pages.

Chapters Include:

- The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Virgin Mary
- The Nativity of the Virgin Mary
- The Entrance of the Virgin Mary Into the Temple
- The Virgin Growing Up in the Temple
- The Virgin Comes of Age
- The Annunciation of the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
- The Mother of God Visits Righteous Elisabeth
- Joseph Reproaches the Mother of God
- The Nativity According to the Flesh of Our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ
- Wise Men Out of the East
- The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Flesh
- The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Temple
- The Massacre of 14,000 Infants in Bethlehem and Its Borders
- The Flight Into Egypt
- Daily Life
- Christ at Twelve Years Old in the Temple
- The Repose of the Righteous Elder Joseph
- The Marriage at Cana
- Christ Shows Who is His Mother, Brother and Sister
- Christ Shows Who is Blessed
- The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Theotokos and the Myrrh-bearers: Mary Magdalene, Mary, Joanna, Salome, Susanna, Mary and Martha
- The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost
- The Early Years of the Church in Jerusalem
- The Theotokos on Mount Athos
- The Theotokos Returns to Jerusalem
- The Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
- The Theotokos is Bodily Translated on the Third Day
- Mary Theotokos and the Church
- The Gospel Reading for the Feasts of the Theotokos
- The Theotokos as Mediatress




REJOICE! Hymns to the Theotokos — CD

Rejoice! Hymns to the Virgin Mary

The voice of the Virgin Mary, heard rarely but powerfully in the Holy Scriptures, and the events of her life, as recorded in both biblical and apocryphal texts, eventually comprised the core of many church hymns. Sung by the St Vladimir's Seminary Choir, Kevin Smith, Director.

$18 - CD - SVS Press





Additional Articles on the Mother of God