The Virgin at the Holy Places

Newly baptized men and women journeyed from all parts of the world to visit the Theotokos, and, as a true mother, she received all, without distinction or partiality. She bestowed upon all the bounties of her grace, by granting healing to the sick, health to the weak, and comfort to the sorrowing. She confirmed all in the Faith, strengthened their hope, instilled divine joy and love, and brought sinners to amendment. Thus, the pure Mother of God lived among the first Christians for many years. She was filled with great spiritual joy at the spread of the Gospel of her Son throughout all the world. Indeed, within her own lifetime, she beheld the fulfillment of those words that she had uttered as a very young woman: “For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed [Lk. 1:48].” Indeed, for wherever Christians glorified Christ as God, they also blessed His most pure Mother.

In Jerusalem, as we mentioned, she remained in the home of the Apostle John. She was wont to frequent those places that her beloved Son had sanctified, by His footsteps and by His blameless blood. At times, she would visit Bethlehem where she had given birth to Christ. However, she especially favored those places where our Savior suffered His voluntary Passion. It was in these places, that the force of nature, that is, maternal love, caused her to weep. And then she would say, “Here, my beloved Son was scourged. Here, He was crowned with a crown of thorns. Here is where He walked carrying His Cross; here, He was crucified.” At the holy sepulcher, the Theotokos would then be filled with ineffable happiness and, with tears of joy, cried, “And here He was buried; and on the third day He arose with glory!”

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

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