The embrace of the Theotokos

Monk Moses the Athonite

The Dormition of the Theotokos is again approaching. All the believers are preparing to celebrate this great feast of the Holy Mother of God.

The celebration is holy, wonderful, superb and moving. It is a wonderful, glorious, splendid celebration, much loved by people. The believers enjoy the feast although it is about the Dormition of the Theotokos, about the beloved one`s move to heaven. They rejoice because their protector, the Holy Mother of God and of people goes to heaven for praying without cease for the entire suffering mankind.

This expression seems contradictory. Joy at the funerals? It is about sadness which brings joy and about joy mixed with sadness, terms which are used in the ascetic and niptic literature. The mourning chants become joy. The funerals become a feast. At first sight it seems strange but if we go deeper we will notice that it is all about a divine energy, about a wondrous event. The Son of the eternal Virgin Mary defeated death by His death. The mourning, sad tears turned into tears of joy, of merriment, of delight and hope.

The Most Holy Mother of God encourage her friends, gives them beautiful thoughts, an optimistic thinking, a sweet comfort. The Theotokos moves to a better, to a higher and more beautiful life.

I would have been impossible for the Most Pure Mother of Emanuel, who gave birth to Christ, the giver of Light, the Sun of Justice, the Morning Star, to be swallowed by the dark hell in its prison.

Thus her death became a life and light giving spring. The believers who honor piously the miracle making icons of the Theotokos receive grace and joy, courage and comfort, strengthening and power. The tears of the believers are coming from their hearts, are sweet tears of joy, of thankfulness and gratefulness, of comfort and ardent prayer.

Our people love the Holy Mother of God very much. The sad exceptions exist everywhere and they will always exist.

The humble and blessed worshipers of the icons of the Theotokos express before her their pain and problems, their demands and difficulties.

The pained Mother of God receives them all, listens to them, comforts them, wipes away their sweat and tears, embraces and encourages them. The Most Holy suffered a lot and she knows to empathize, to give help and pray without cease. Monasteries, churches, chapels, worshiping places remind of her grace. Numerous are the offerings accompanying the demands and rich are the gifts of thankfulness. The icons are imbued in the tears of the pious worshipers. Sometimes the icons cry and with it the Intercessor of all the believers. Each one of her icons has a special story and name.

The face of the Holy Mother of God is always pious, serious, quiet, serene and devout. But she speaks as well by her abundant grace, by her purity, by her humbleness. In her holy face hides a wonderful ethos. She gives joy without smiling and joking, she preaches without words by her living example, she teaches by her beautiful life. She gives what she has: love, obedience and kindness. The believer has the impression that the icon tells him personally something. He feels that within himself is awakened the forgotten innocence, the childish simplicity, the patience in suffering. It is another way of living which nourished many generations in times of great difficulties. On today`s feast may the Holy Mother of God embrace all her worshippers so that they won`t tire and despair.