THE peculiar character of Mary as Mother of God confers on her as of right to be both All Holy and Most Holy, that is to say, above all the Saints, the Blesseds, the Martyrs and Confessors of our Church.
In terms of holiness, neither the Twelve Apostles, nor John the Baptist who in the words of Christ occupied a place as “the greatest of those born of woman”, can be set apart from her.
But as the Greek and Orthodox man of letters Photis Kontoglou elegantly wrote of her, “You Theotokos, are honoured more abundantly than others, and accounted worthy to lend flesh from your flesh to the Son of God, and for this reason especially you are called All Holy and Most Holy; and, although you are a human being born of another human being, you are, nonetheless, in the words of the angel, more honourable than the cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the seraphim“.
Μητέρα – Θεοτόκος – Παναγία, an address for the Church of Greece radio station, 13/8/2007, by Archimandrite Epiphanios Oikonomou. Translated from the original at Myriobiblios.
TODAY God, who sitteth upon a throne known only to the eye of the heart, hath made ready for the time to come a holy throne upon earth; he that founded the heavens in wisdom, hath fashioned for himself a heaven with the breath of life within it; for he hath made his mother spring up for our sakes, as a shoot laden with life from a barren root. O God of marvels, and hope of the hopeless! O Lord, glory be to thee.
Vespers on the Nativity of the Mother of God (September 8)