Malankara World Journal
Malankara World Journal

Volume 1 No. 28 September 8, 2011

Nativity of St. Mary Special Supplement

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The Birth of the Virgin Mary - Esteban Murillo (Louvre, Paris)
The Birth of the Virgin Mary - Esteban Murillo (Louvre, Paris)
Table of Contents
Editor's Note
This is the last of the Special Supplements for the Nativity of St. Mary. We will go back to our regular format starting next week.

Today's journal has a variety of articles about the birth of St. Mary including several prayers, poems (hymns) and historical notes.

More articles on Virgin Mary can be found in Malankara World Supplement on St. Mary at.

This coming Sunday (September 11) is the 4th Sunday following the Shunoyo Feast. The Gospel reading is from Mark 6:1-6. This incident in the life of Jesus, viz., the lack of respect shown to Jesus in his native village is covered in all three Gospels. This has made Jesus very surprised. (The only other instance where the Gospel writers have indicated that Jesus was surprised was at the faith of the centurion). This emotion shows the humanity of Jesus. Undoubtedly, through his divine nature, Jesus knew what was coming, his human nature, nevertheless made him sad at this treatment by those very dear to him. This treatment, however, was used as a learning tool for the disciples who were commissioned to deliver the Good News to others immediately after the passage read today. The disciples were to know that they will get rejections when they go for spreading the gospel; but they need to ignore the negative treatment accorded and move on.

More than a dozen bible commentaries, gospel analyses and sermons based on this week's Gospel reading is available in Malankara World at:

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (Sept. 11)
Fourth Sunday after the Festival of the Assumption of St. Mary

  • Evening
    • St. Matthew 18: 1-11
  • Morning
    • St. Matthew 18: 12-22
  • Before Holy Qurbana
    • Exodus 3: 1-6, 11-14
    • Job 1: 1-5
    • Isaiah 1: 15 -20
  • Holy Qurbana
    • I Peter 2: 1-5
    • I Corinthians 3: 16-23
    • St. Mark 6:1-6

 Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Sermons for This Sunday (Sept. 11)
We have greatly expanded our Sermon Resources. The sermon collection now includes general and classical sermons. This will give a broader appeal to the Gospel Reading for the week. We also added bible commentaries for the bible reading to facilitate study and meditation. Please check it out.
Sermons for the Fourth Sunday After Shunoyo

More Sermons

This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today

Oh.. Morth Mariam Yoldath Aloho (Mother Of God) Pray For Us

shlom lekh bthoolto maryam.
malyath taiybootho.
moran `amekh.
mbarakhto at bneshey wambarakhoo feero dabkarsekh yeshu`,
o qadeeshto maryam
yoldath aloho
saloy hlofain hatoyeh hosho wabsho'ath mawtan.


Courtesy of SOCM Forum

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

­ from The Divine Office - Matins (Morning Prayer)

Come, all you faithful, let us hasten to the Virgin: for long before her conception in the womb, the one who was to be born of the stem of Jesse was destined to be the Mother of God. The one who is the treasury of virginity, the flowering Rod of Aaron, the object of the prophecies, the child of Joachim and Anne, is born today and the world is renewed in her. Through her birth, she floods the church with her splendor. O holy Temple, Vessel of the Godhead, Model of virgins and Strength of kings: in you the wondrous union of the two natures of Christ was realized. We worship Him and glorify your most pure birth, and we magnify you.

- from The Byzantine Daily Worship

Troparion (Tone 4)

Today from the stem of Jesse and from the loins of David,
The handmaid of God Mary is being born for us.
Therefore all creation is renewed and rejoices!
Heaven and earth rejoice together.
Praise her, you families of nations,
For Joachim rejoices and Anna celebrates crying out:
"The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our life!"

Kontakion (Tone 3)

Today the Virgin Theotokos Mary
The bridal chamber of the Heavenly Bridegroom
By the will of God is born of a barren woman,
Being prepared as the chariot of God the Word.
She was fore-ordained for this,
Since she is the divine gate and the true Mother of Life.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

In your holy birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: "The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life."

Featured This Week: Nativity of St. Mary

Feast of the Birth of Virgin Mary, Mother of God

The Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints: Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus.

John the Baptist is considered especially sanctified even before his birth. His birth to Elizabeth and Zachariah is foretold in the first chapter of Luke, and it is also recorded (Lk 1:41) that Elizabeth felt the infant John "leap in her womb" when Mary approached her soon after the Annunciation.

There is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her parentage, though Joseph's lineage is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, appear in the apocryphal "Gospel of James", a book dating from the 2nd Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for a child.

According to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same one in which the Annunciation took place. By another tradition, the Annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of Saint Anna in Jerusalem, under a 3rd Century oratory known as the "Gate of Mary".

In celebrating the nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation and birth of her Divine Son, and give honor to the mother of Our Lord and Savior.

Mary, The Dawn of Hope
"Who is this?" asks the Holy Spirit as Mary comes into the world. "Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun?" (Sg 6,10)...

She "comes forth like the dawn." Our first father was made in the image and likeness of his Creator in the full light of day (Gn 1,26). What could be more wonderful for a created being than to share the Creator's likeness?... He granted him the everlasting image but the likeness was still to be achieved: man was to become like his Creator. Yet he rejected the honor of such a privilege..., delivering himself over to death, into the darkness, along with all his descendants. Darkness covered all the earth (cf. Gn 1,2) until the coming of the Virgin. There was none who could escape the shadows, none to disperse them... but with the coming of the Virgin, dawn arose. Mary makes known the true light and, by her nativity, causes the most radiant of mornings to shine. She is the Morning Star. She is that dawn who follows or, rather, from whom is born the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20): he who alone surpasses her in splendor...

"Yours is the day" when Adam was created, "yours the nigh." (Ps 74[73],16) when he was cast out from your light. It is you who created the dawn, that is to say the Virgin Mary, and the Sun, that Sun of Justice who arose from her virgin womb. As dawn announces night's end and signals the beginning of the day, so the Virgin put to flight the night without end and day after day she gives to earth the one who sprang from her virginity.

St. Peter Damian

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day!
This poem beautifully expresses the relationship between Mary and Jesus. It demonstrates what true devotion to Mary is all about - leading us to Jesus, her Divine Son!

Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple's Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven's Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother's Son
By all things blest while endless ages run.


Orthodox Feast of The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary - September 8
This day (September 8) was set aside by the Orthodox Church in the early first century, but not observed until the eighth century when Pope Sergios saw fit to join with the Orthodox during his reign which extended from A.D. 687 to 701. All of Christendom agreed on the date that the Virgin Mary was born, but for some reason the date was not an official feast day in the Roman sector for more than a third of the length of existence of the Christian Church. The lack of communication between East and West ended in the Schism of 1054, a break which now appears to be an ever-narrowing gap, hopefully to be closed in a reunion upon which the Mother of God is sure to smile.

The familiar story of Mary's birth has had variations in splinter groups of Christianity, but there is no doubt that her birth came about as an act of God. Her parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless and were fast approaching the years which would place Anna beyond the age of childbearing. Perhaps it was because of the intensity of their prayers that a child be born to them that their prayers were not only answered, but their child would, in turn, bear a child ordained by God as his Son. No one who calls himself a Christian can accept the virgin birth as anything but an act of God.

Although Mary is known as the mother of God, she has been accorded numerous titles in the Orthodox Church of which few are aware. They include, in addition to Mary, Mother of God: The Repose (Koimesis) of the Blessed Virgin, Mary Pantanissa, Mary of Tinos, Mary of Malcheon, and Mary Vlacherne (just to mention a few of the many honours applied to her name). Considered the Mother of Mothers and the Mother of all Mankind, she is venerated in a manner which helps to sanctify the role of motherhood and the preservation of the family as the only hope for civilization. In an age of equal rights, the God-given right to motherhood, which is the mainstay of Christianity, is lost in a cloud of other 'rights' that have no meaning in the presence of God. Those who clamour for those 'rights' are not aware that there is no inferiority in women, proof of which is an approach to God and a reading of the Bible as a stronger document than any constitution.

It is regrettable that the immaculate conception, not to be confused with the virginal birth of the Saviour, is a concept of the Mother of God which the Roman Church assumed in 1854 and with which the Orthodox Church is in total disagreement. This concept holds that Mary was born without the stain of original sin brought upon all mankind by Adam and Eve. But the Orthodox position holds that since Jesus Christ is God, he is, therefore the only one who is without the original stain. The point could be argued endlessly; but in spite of dogmatic differences, there is no lessening in the adoration of Mary as the Mother of God. There can be no doubt that she was made pure on the day of the Annunciation when told by Gabriel she was going to be the Virgin Mother of the Messiah.

The Orthodox position stems from the concept that if the immaculate conception is taken literally, then Mary would assume the stature of goddess alongside God. The popularity of the name of Mary attests to the glorification of the Virgin Mary. The Greek Orthodox can feel exultation from calling out the name "Panagia" which means 'All-Holy' and is the Greek word for the most sacred figure in Christianity, aside from the Son she mothered.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Health Tip: Unique Herb Fights Abdominal Fat

by Mike Geary - Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of the best seller: The Truth about Six Pack Abs

Can This Unique Spice Help to Fight Abdominal Fat?

This spice that I'm going to mention is one of the most overlooked, but healthiest spices in the world...

You might even call it a "fat burning spice"... in a roundabout way.

And yes, it can actually help you win the battle against abdominal fat if you use it daily...I'll explain why.

Here are some other benefits of this miracle spice:
•controls blood sugar levels
•helps maintain insulin sensitivity
•a VERY powerful antioxidant
•may have antibacterial and antifungal properties
•and dozens of other benefits

So what is this miracle spice that beats abdominal fat?

Well... it's good old tasty Cinnamon!

Although cinnamon does NOT directly increase fat burning (such as by increasing metabolic rate, etc), it CAN actually help you to burn off abdominal fat and get leaner in an indirect way.

Here's how...

Although cinnamon has dozens of health benefits, the main benefit that will help you to get leaner is through it's strong effect on controlling blood sugar levels in your body.

In a study published in 2003 in the medical journal Diabetes Care, groups were split into people taking 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon per day in capsule form (the equivalent of approx 1/4th to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon).

The results of the study showed that all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose levels by 18-29% after 40 days.

Cinnamon can also increase insulin sensitivity, which essentially means that it is helping your body to control blood sugar while simultaneously allowing your body to produce less insulin.

As you know, chronically high insulin levels can make your body pack on the blubber.

How to harness cinnamon to lose stubborn belly fat...

One possible way to benefit from cinnamon to lose more fat is to use cinnamon daily in your meals when you can, such as in yogurt or cottage cheese, in smoothies, oatmeal, or anything else you can think of where it would go well.

Also, you could use a cinnamon capsule before each of your meals.

This could help to control blood sugar and insulin response from your meals and thereby control your appetite and cravings throughout the day... hence, helping you to lose body fat more effectively over time.

So now you can see that not only is cinnamon a powerful antioxidant that can help you stay youthful longer, it can also help you to control blood sugar and get a leaner body!


Read more health tips in Malankara World Health Section

Humor: Gandhiji’s son?
Teacher: Who is Gandhiji’s son?

Malayali boy: Dineshan

Teacher: What nonsense! Who taught you this rubbish?

Malayali boy: From KG class we have been learning that "Gandhiji is the father of Dineshan."

How India works - at the Bottom of the Pyramid??

by Shekhar Kapoor, acclaimed film director

A greater 'hole in the wall' you cannot imagine. A small fading sign on the top saying 'Cellphoon reapars' (Cellphone Repairs) barely visible through the street vendors crowding the Juhu Market in Mumbai.

On my way to buy a new Blackberry, my innate sense of adventure made me stop my car and investigate. A shop not more than 6 feet by 6 feet. Grimy and uncleaned.

"Can you fix a Blackberry?"

"Of course, show me."

"How old are you?"


Bullshit. He was no more than 10. Not handing my precious blackberry to a 10 year old in unwashed and torn T shirt and pyjamas! At least if I buy a new one, they would extract the data for me. Something I have been meaning to do for a year now.

"What's wrong with it?"

"Well, the roller track ball does not respond. It's kind of stuck and I cannot operate it"

He grabs it from my hand and looks at it.

"You should wash your hands. Many customers have same problem. Roller ball get greasy and dirty, then no working."

Look who was telling me to wash my hands. He probably has not bathed for 10 days, I leaned out to snatch my useless blackberry back..

"You come back in one hour and I fix it."

I am not leaving all my precious data in this unwashed kid's hands for an hour.

No way.

"Who will fix it?"

"Big brother"

"How big is 'big brother?'"

"Big . Umm ..thirty."

Then suddenly big brother walks in. 30 ??? He is no more than 19.

"What problem?" He says grabbing the phone from my greasy hand into his greasier hand. Obviously not trained in etiquette by an upmarket retail store manager.

"Normal blackberry problem. I replace with original part now. You must wash your hand before you use this." What is this about me washing my hands suddenly??

19 year old big brother rummages through a dubious drawer full of junk and fishes out a spare roller ball packed in cheap cellophane wrapper.

Original part? I doubt it. But by now I am in the lap of the real India and there is no escape as he fishes out a couple of screwdrivers and sets about opening my Blackberry.

"How long will this take?"

"Six minutes."

This I have to see. After spending the whole morning trying to find a Blackberry service centre and getting vague answers about sending the phone in for an assessment that might take a week, I settle down next to his grubby cramped work space. At least I am going to be able to watch all my stored data vanish into virtual space. People crowd around to see what's happening. I am not breathing easy anyway. I tell myself this is an adventure and literally have to stop myself grabbing my precious Blackberry back and making a quick escape. But in exactly six minutes this kid handed my Blackberry back.

He had changed the part and cleaned and serviced the whole phone. Taken it apart, and put it together. As I turned the phone on there was a horrific 2 minutes where the phone would not come on. I looked at him with such hostility that he stepped back.

"You have more than thousand phone numbers ?"


"Backed up?"


"Must back up. I do it for you. Never open phone before backing up."

"You tell me that now?"

But then the phone came on and my data was still there. Everyone watching laughed and clapped. This was becoming a show. A six minute show. I asked him how much.

"500 rupees." He ventured uncertainly. People around watched in glee expecting a negotiation.

That's $10 dollars as against the Rs 30,000 ($600) I was about to spend on a new Blackberry or a couple of weeks without my phone. I looked suitably shocked at his 'high price' but calmly paid him. Much to the disappointment of the expectant crowd

"Do you have an I-Phone ? Even the new 4D one?"

"No, why?"

"I break the code for you and load any 'app' or film you want. I give you 10 film on your memory stick on this one, and change every week for small fee."

I went home having discovered the true entrepreneurship that lies at what we call the 'bottom of the pyramid.' Some may call it piracy, which of course it is, but what can you say about two uneducated and untrained brothers aged 10 and 19 that set up a 'hole in the wall' shop and can fix any technology that the greatest technologists in the world can throw at them. I smiled at the future of our country. If only we could learn to harness this potential.

"Please wash your hands before use" were his last words to me. Now I am feeling seriously unclean.

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