Theotokos: a sure inheritance from our Fathers

LET virginity dance for joy, for a virgin hath been born as Isaiah spake, which shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel: that is, God with us (Is 7:14).

Understand this, ye Nestorians, and retire: God is with us. Not a human being, not a venerable man, but the Lord himself shall come, and he shall save us (cf. Is 25:9). Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (Ps 117[118]:26), the Lord God, and he has sent forth his light unto us.

Let us join together to celebrate the feast at the birth of the Mother of God. Be glad, Anna the barren one, who hath not been with child: break forth and cry out, who hath not been in travail (Is 54:1). Exult, Joachim, because of thy daughter is born to us a child, and unto us is born a son, and his name shall be called Great Counsel, Messenger of the salvation of all the world, Mighty God (Is 9:6).

Let Nestorius be ashamed, and put his hand to his mouth. The child is God, and how shall she that bore him not be Mother of God?

“If any man does not confess the holy Virgin to be Mother of God, he is cut adrift from the Godhead”. These are not my words, though I make them mine; for this is an inheritance I have securely received from our father Gregory the Theologian.

St John Damascene (?676-749), Homily on the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (MPG 96.668AB). Yesterday was the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.

Nestorius was Bishop of Constantinople (d. 451), who being unable to see Christ as both truly God and truly man, and seeing in him little more than a noble man in perfect harmony with the will of the Son of God, refused to accord Mary the title of “Theotokos”, Mother of God.


WE who celebrate the memory of thy righteous and godly forebears, O Lord, implore thee through them: Save our souls.

LOOSED from the bonds of the barren, now doth Anna rejoice, and nurse the all-immaculate; summoning all men together to praise with hymns her that is granted from her womb unto mortal men, to praise her that alone hath not known any man, and yet is a mother.

Apolytikion and Kontakion for the Feast of the Holy and Righteous Saints Anna and Joachim, parents of the Mary the Blessed Virgin (September 9).