Preparation for Life That Knows No End

Saint John of Damascus writes: If her Fruit, Whom none may comprehend, on Whose account she was called a heaven, submitted of His own will to burial as a mortal, how should she, who gave Him birth without knowing a man, refuse it?

In accordance with divine providence, the Theotokos, having come from mortal loins, had a death conformable to nature for the consolation of all people, so that they too might not fear to proceed to heaven by the same gates of death through which the Queen of heaven passed, sharing the lot of all the earthborn. Saint John of Damascus writes: “It was necessary that that which was composed of earth should return to earth and only then pass to heaven, having embraced on earth a most pure life through the subjection of the flesh. It was necessary that the body should be purified through death, as gold through fire, from every darkness and coarse burden of filth, and should rise from the grave incorrupt, pure and illumined by the light of immortality.”

O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to nature: but because thou hast borne the true Life, thou hast departed to dwell with the divine Life Himself.

Saint John of Damascus’ brother, the bishop and poet Saint Kosmas (8th C.), speaks of the Virgin’s death as a crossing into a better and eternal life, that is, it has translated her from this mortal life to that which knows no end and is indeed divine, where she may look with joy upon her Son and Lord.

Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, August. Holy Apostles Convent.

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