Category Archives: Mary

Mary 23 – Queen of Heaven

I thought it would be fitting to close my series on Mary with a reflection on her title as Queen of Heaven. I know from experience that many of my fellow Protestant Christians find that appellation disturbing, though I’m not sure if it’s for theological reasons or because of our American discomfort with monarchical titles. […]

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Mary 22 – Dormition of the Theotokos

This feast, celebrated on August 15 following a fourteen day fast, is the last Great Feast of the Orthodox liturgical year. I find it interesting and fitting that their liturgical calendar begins and ends with a feast of Mary. Dormition means ‘falling asleep’ using the Christian term from the New Testament for death. The term […]

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Mary 21 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Carmel, whose feast is celebrated on July 16, is the patroness of the Carmelite Order. Carmelite devotion focuses on the interior life of prayer and contemplation. Below is one of those prayers. I know my mother has ties of some sort with the Carmelites. I’m not very familiar with the different ways […]

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Mary 20 – Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Visitation is a Western feast that began in the 13th century and is currently celebrated on May 31. It celebrates the visitation of Mary with her cousin Elizabeth when both were pregnant as recorded in Luke 1:39-56. This is the meeting in which Mary, with the Holy Spirit upon her, prophesies what has become […]

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Mary 19 – Annunciation

This feast, another of the twelve Great Feasts in the Orthodox liturgical year and a feast in the Western Church falls on March 25th. While the Western church will move the feast if it falls during Holy Week, the Eastern Church never moves it. This feast celebrates the events of Luke 1:26-38, when the angel […]

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Mary 18 – Purification of the Blessed Virgin (Candlemas)

  Since this is a series on Mary, I selected one of the traditional Western designations for this feast. It’s also known as the Presentation of Christ at the Temple and in Orthodoxy it’s one of the twelve Great Feast of the liturgical year. Both names are technically correct. The events of the feast are […]

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Mary 17 – Synaxis of the Theotokos

This is an Orthodox feast held each year on December 26. A synaxis is a feast day  in honor of a saint with special services (matins, vespers, etc.) written for that day. It typically occurs following a major feast day and recognizes a saint that participated in the event of that feast. So, for instance, […]

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Mary 16 – Our Lady of Guadalupe

  I’m a Texan. I’m not sure that it’s possible to grow up or live in this state and not absorb some knowledge of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose icon from the 16th century is pictured above. She appeared to St. Juan Diego,  a poor Aztec peasant, at Tepeyac, northwest of present-day Mexico city. In […]

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Mary 15 – Annunciation of the Theotokos

    This feast, celebrated on December 8, is called the Feast of the Immaculate Conception within the Roman Catholic Church. The feast in both traditions celebrates the conception of Mary. However, it’s not one of the twelve Great Feast in Orthodoxy, but it is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church, which […]

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Mary 14 – Presentation of the Theotokos

This feast is also called The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple in Orthodox tradition and The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Catholic tradition. It commemorates the entrance or presentation of Mary as a child at the Temple in Jerusalem by her parents to serve as one of the Temple virgins. It’s […]

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