July 19, 2023

Homily Three on the Feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on July 8/21, 1958)
I know with what love you listen and sing the troparion to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, and I would like you to understand more deeply why we call the Most Holy Theotokos a Zealous Intercessor for Christians.

Remember how on the day of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Archangel Gabriel answered Her perplexed question: “How will this be, for I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). The archangel replied: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (Lk. 1:35).

The severe heretic Nestorius, anathematized by the Third Ecumenical Synod, thought of the incarnation of the Son of God in a completely different way.

He called the Blessed Virgin Mary not the Theotokos, but the Christotokos, and taught that simply the man Jesus Christ was born from her, into whom the Holy Spirit only later was instilled.

All Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church are of one mind that the Holy Spirit, according to the gospel of the Archangel Gabriel, with an unprecedented fullness neither before nor after, indwelled the Most Holy Virgin Mary and made her the Most Holy of the Saints, more honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim without corruption.

But Lutherans and all Protestants and sectarians do not want to hear about this and call the Most Holy Theotokos simply a pious woman, of which there are many.

We Orthodox, of course, do not put the Most Holy Theotokos on a par with the One True God, with the Trinity Consubstantial and Indivisible, and we do not know any goddesses; we believe that the Most Holy Theotokos is the most perfect and majestic temple of the Holy Spirit; we believe that the Mother of God, to an even greater extent than the Archangels and Angels, has contained all the fullness of love, mercy and compassion for us, who are burdened with many sins, misfortunes, sufferings and illnesses, and we wait and ask from her maternal protection before God Whom we so often offend with our disobedience and sins.

She is for us truly the Zealous Intercessor for Christians. She is a constant intercessor for us before God. She loves us all like her children. In the legend about the appearance of her Kazan icon there is a bright feature, a feature that indicates that the humble and simple, like children, are especially close to Her.

Not to the bishop of Kazan, not to the mayor, not to any of the adults, rather she revealed the location in Kazan of her miraculous icon having appeared three times in a dream to the girl Matryona, and indicated the place where her glorious icon was hidden. Adults dug in this place, and did not find anything. And as soon as the girl Matryona took a shovel, she immediately found an icon shone with heavenly light, wrapped in a decayed cloth.

Let us always remember that the Most Holy Theotokos Mary prays unceasingly for us before her Divine Son, let us always remember that she is the Zealous Intercessor for the Christian race, and let us turn our hearts to her in prayerful singing. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *