by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
The Virgin's Intercession
The Virgin Mary is a patron saint in the Syrian Orthodox Church. Uncountable are the miracles made by the Virgin Mary in the church and for the faithful. Her girdle is the focus of honor and a source of blessing. No wonder about that, when one bears in mind that raiment used to be put on the body of the Apostle Paul and then put on the bodies of sick people in quest of healing .One may justly pose the question: wouldn't the girdle of the Virgin Mary, which she had woven with her own holy hands, put around her waist, and most probably had had contact with the body of the redeemer himself, rather be deemed as a source of blessing?
Worship Due Only to God
It's already been mentioned that the Syrian Church venerates the Virgin Mary and that prayers to God include interceding with the Virgin Mary, but the faithful in the Syrian Church do not worship her. Only God is worshiped. We do denounce the legend of worshiping Mary. No name but that of Jesus is in heaven, on earth, or in the underworld. To him the faithful prostrate because He is the savior of the world. The virgin is human and whoever worships her shall be a blasphemer (Acts 14:11-16). The Virgin Mary says of herself "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things" (Luke 1:47-49).
We shall have to canonize her by following in her footsteps in virtue and in keeping God's words and pondering on them in her heart by means of true prayers. She is a good example for the Celibates and virgins, for the married of both sexes, for fathers and mothers in bringing their children up in a good way, by making them keep the law of the Lord and observe offices. May God bless whoever intercedes with the Virgin Mary and whoever sets her holy life, as a good example.
A Litany written by Jacob of Serugh would be the best statement with which to conclude our discourse about the Virgin Mary.
"Your prayer accompanies us, oh blessed. Your prayer accompanies us. The Lord answers your prayers and forgives us. May you, who is full of grace offer up supplications to the merciful and beseech Him to have mercy on those souls seeking it, Amen".
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