Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Virgin Mary

The Veneration of the Holy Virgin
in the Ancient Church

It is only in relatively recent times that we have Christians teaching that Mary had children after the birth of the Saviour. All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice in biblical times was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had borne any children other than Jesus.

The veneration of the Virgin did not begin with the Medieval Church, but began in the Early Church. The designation of Mary as Theotokos (Birthgiver of God) is found on an Egyptian papyrus fragment from the year 250 A.D., proving it was not a later invention.
The prayer reads, "Under your mercy we take refuge Mother of God; may our petitions not be abandoned into temptation, but from danger deliver us, only pure and blessed."

The problem with viewing the Bible as the only authority for the Christian life, is that everyone who buys into the personal interpretation of Scripture becomes the authority, and the memory of the teachings and practices of the Early Church are forgotten, replaced with the mess that followed the division of the Western Church into denominations.

When we do not have Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture held side by side in importance, we go astray. The key to Orthodoxy's claim to being the Ancient Apostolic Church preserved in all her purity, can be seen in her insistence that Holy Tradition has kept her way of worship, and her dogma, unchanged. No need for change, for the Church knows the truth of the words, "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3)".

It is liberating to discover we need not search the Bible to understand the meaning of the Word of God for ourselves. There is no need to reinvent Christianity for this modern age, in a feeble attempt to make Christianity relevant. We can even avoid the prideful arrogance of thinking we can decipher the meaning of the Bible, for we need only look to the Church for the truth that has been preserved from the very beginning. We can say with certainty that we keep to the faith of our fathers. The veneration of the Holy Virgin Mary is but one example of our connection, unbroken, with the Early Apostolic Church.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Beloved friends and benefactors:

The Monastery is in need of a newer vehicle. After many years and well over 200,000 miles our venerable old van lost it's transmission on Pascha Day, and was deemed beyond repair by our mechanic, because of it's age.

Please, if you can, would you consider helping us obtain a used 2006 Toyota station wagon that has become available for only $13,000.00. With very low mileage, this is the best vehicle we have been able to find, and we'd like to move on it as quickly as possible. Our monthly budget is somewhat stable but does not allow any capital expenses. Even $30 per reader would reach our goal.

Thank you for your consideration.

With love and blessings,
Abbot Tryphon

Wednesday April 30, 2014 / April 17, 2014
Second Week of Pascha. Tone one.
Fast. Fish Allowed

Hieromartyr Simeon, bishop in Persia, and those with him: Martyrs Abdechalas and Ananias presbyters, Usthazanes, Fusicus (Pusicius), Ascitrea, and Azat the Eunuch (341).
Venerable Acacius, bishop of Melitene (435).
Venerable Zosimas of Solovki (1478).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Michael confessor, priest (1935).
New Hieromartyr Theodore priest (1942).
Uncovering of the relics (1641) of Venerable Alexander of Svir (1533).
Martyr Adrian of Corinth (151).
St. Agapitus, pope of Rome (536).
Venerable Macarius of Corinth (1805).
St. Paisius, fool-for-Christ of Kiev (1893).
St. Ephraim the Great of Matskveri Monastery (9th c.) (Georgia).
Monk-martyr Donnan of Eigg and those with him (618) (Celtic & British).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 4:13-22

The Name of Jesus Forbidden

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

John 5:17-24

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the
omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Abbot Tryphon's email address:

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