August 31, 2023

The Motherhood of the Theotokos (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

One of the attributes of our Panagia is her motherhood. She was the Mother of Christ, because from her Christ took on human nature and that is how we know her as the Mother of God. In fact, in the Kontakion of the Dormition it is said: "As the mother of life you translocated to life". The Mother of life, that is, of Christ who is the life of people, went with her dormition and her heavenly transition towards life.

In our Christian life, with Holy Baptism and Divine Communion, we have God the Father, that is the first Person of the Holy Trinity, but also the entire Triune God, just as we also have as our mother the Panagia and we have siblings, who are the Saints. That is, we belong to a spiritual family and we are blessed to have the protection and blessing of that spiritual family.

This is how we understand that our Panagia is the Mother of Christ, but also our mother.

First of all, she is the Mother of Christ. In her blessed womb Christ was conceived and she was impregnated and thus this womb became a spiritual Paradise, a temple of the holy God. The Panagia nursed Christ, she gave Him her milk, she raised Him the way any mother raises her children. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, in a supernatural way, but He grew naturally, as all men grow. So the Panagia showed Him the affection and warmth that every mother shows to her children, she held Him in her arms, she lived through all the stages of His development, i.e. the infant's cry, the first walk, his childhood and youth events. It was a great honor for her. And this was the reason why Christ honored her so much.

Then, she is also the mother of us humans. After all, she is considered and is the representative of the entire human race in the incarnation of the Son and Word of God. She loves us and cares about us. Her intercessions for the whole human race, and for each of us personally, is tireless. That's why we chant in the Kontakion of the feast: "You are tireless in your intercessions O Theotokos, and our hope and immovable protection".

As the Mother of Christ and our mother, the Panagia performs a double task. On the one hand, she supplicates her Son for us, on the other hand, she exhorts us to obey the commands of her Son, so that her entreaties have an effect. This double work of the Panagia is seen in her presence at the Wedding at Cana, which she and Christ attended.

At some point when the Panagia realized that the wine had run out, she announced it to Christ, so that He would perform His miracle and give wine, in order for the people to rejoice at this. Christ, of course, responded to His Mother because, as He said, His time had not yet come to perform miracles. According to the sacred Theophylact, the Panagia begged Christ for the miracle, because she knew His great power from His miraculous conception and birth. Christ responded to her on the one hand because the people themselves had to beg Him, and on the other hand because He was not yet known by the people for them to beg Him, so the appropriate time had not yet come for the appearance of His work and of His mission.

But the Panagia then turned to the servants and said to them: "Whatever He tells you to do, do it." And of course the servants obeyed Christ to fill the pitchers with water and then Christ with his miraculous power turned the water into wine.

This incident also shows the double work that the Panagia continues to do. As the Mother of Christ she begs Him for the human race and for each one personally. Her entreaties, her intercessions are tireless, continuous. If the angels glorify God, and the Saints together with the glorification also pray to God for us, much more this is done by the Panagia. Therefore, the Panagia with her double motherhood prays to her Son and her God for the people who are tormented and suffer from physical and psychic problems, but at the same time she urges us to obey her Son, to respect Him, to keep His commandments, to live as He taught us. It is not possible to be Christians and not obey Christ, whose name we bear.

Let us feel the Panagia as our mother. This means that we also accept her maternal affection expressed through her prayers, but we also listen to her advice to walk towards Christ, to honor her Son and her God and to live according to His commandments, to be good Christians, honorable members of the Church. That is why we should not only accept the affection of the Panagia, but also obey her advice.

I wish you all many years and blessings, and may we feel very strongly the affection and advice of our Panagia.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *