Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith

Apostolic See of St. John

             His Eminence Archbishop-Primate +John Paul Hozvicka SCJ, D.D.

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Theotokos

The Mother of our Lord

     In the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church and the Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith, Mary holds a special place and referred to as the Blessed Mother” giving her that respect and honor. The Protestant give her no such respect and honor and refer to her as just another woman. However, Protestant claim to follow the Holy Scriptures and yet fail to call Mary blessed “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generation shall call be blessed” Luke 1:48 KJV.  This is why Catholics and Eastern Orthodox call her The Blessed Mother” but Protestant don’t.


     The Eastern Orthodox Churches call her the “Theotokos” a Greek word which mean the "God-bearer" a more literal translation include "Mother of God." The Council of Ephesus decreed in 431 that Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is both God and man: one Divine Person with two natures (Divine and human) intimately, hypostatically united. Mary is not only special but highly honored by God because Jesus himself, being God, created his own mother to become the pure holy vessel that will give him birth, life. Should we not follow God example and respect and honor her also?


       She hold a special place because as she witness the death of her son on the Cross her soul may have also suffered her own pain "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul, that the thought of many hearts may be revealed" Luke 2:35. It’s important for all Protestant to understand that Salvation is through Jesus Christ only and no one else “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” Acts 4:12 All of Christianity Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, SCJ and Protestant believe this teaching. 


Ever-Virgin


     When you read the writings of the early Church Father, who lived in the time when Mary was still alive, and also knew some of the Apostles; It has become tradition since this early time that God performed a miracle upon Mary that kept her as a virgin the rest of her life. This was accepted by the early Church and is still accepted today by the Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church and by the Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith; and maybe accepted by some of the Old Catholic and other Churches. The Mother of God is often referred to as the “New Eve,” for she said “yes” to God whereas the first Eve said “no.” We believe that the Mother of God was sinless of her own free will, that she remains ever-virgin, and that she is the “living tabernacle” of God inasmuch as her womb carried the living Son of God.


Mary Was Sinless


       When you read the Holy Scriptures it is written that nothing impure and sinful will enter the Kingdom of God. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” Rev. 21:27. So why is it hard to believe that Mary was pure and sinless? Would a pure divine being be incarnated into a corrupt, defiled and sinful body? The answer is no. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her God’s plan, she was given her right to exercise her free will and she said “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38 It was at this moment when the Holy Spirit over shadowed her that she became clean and pure of all sin “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”  Luke 1:35. We do not hold to the Roman Catholic idea of the “Immaculate Conception” Neither do the Orthodox Churches. To us she hold the honor of being called the "Immaculate Mother."


Dormition of the Theotokos, when Mary grew old and it was her time to pass on we and the Orthodox Church believe she went to sleep, or the falling-asleep. The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the 15th of August, preceded by a two-week fast. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother. It proclaims that Mary has been “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence. There is no biblical evidence of this but we have to understand the Jesus had a personal and loving relationship with his mother, the woman He created to be born as His mother. If God took the prophet Enoch, the prophet and law giver Moses, and the prophet Elijah to heaven why not his mother who gave birth to him? Remember, with God nothing is impossible. There is no sin if you believe this and there is no sin if you do not believe it, but as for my self and the Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith, we do accept this as does the Orthodox Churches.


The Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith, as does the Orthodox Churches proclaim that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ, her Son, as all human need to be saved from the trials, sufferings and death of this world; and that having truly died, she was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise which is prepared and promised to all who “hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:27-28)


Prayers to Mary


      Where Protestant are confused is that Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches believe that they can pray to Mary and ask her to intercede for them, pray to God for them and she can ask her Son to grant their prayer. If I can ask my family members and friends to pray for me, then why can’t I ask Mary to pray for me, why does it seem straight that I should ask Mary the mother of Jesus to pray for me? There is nothing wrong in this practice and is not required for anyone to believe in to be a member of the Church; nor is it a sin to believe or not believe in praying to Mary for help; we do so because we chose to.

 

     The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic believe that Mary had a special relationship with Jesus, and that Jesus loved his mother very much. She loved him, cooked for him, protected him, and was there at his death and resurrection. When it was her time, she fell sleep and Jesus had her translated body and soul into heaven to be with him for all eternity; just as God loved Enoch who walked with God for 300 years and God translated him to heaven body and soul never tasting death Gen. 5:24 also Elijah was taken body and soul into heaven in a chariot of fire II Kings 2:11. So Mary was given this honor also by her son Jesus. Her feast day is set on August 15 in which we remember her and honor her and love her. 


“In giving birth, you preserved your virginity. In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, and by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.” (Troparion)


“Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.” (Kontakion)

 

Note:


1. Troparion: It is a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas; this may carry the further connotation of a hymn interpolated between psalms verses.


2. Kontakion: Originally, the kontakion was an extended homily in verse consisting of one or two proemia (preliminary stanzas) followed by several strophes called oikoi


                                Mary in Heaven


Common sense thinking


Fact #1: Mary appeared to Bernadette in the grotto in the town of Lourdes, and over the centuries millions of faithful believer where healed by drinking the water by the grotto  or washing in it. Many people where covered into accepting Jesus Christ.


Read more here: (copy and paste)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernadette_Soubirous


Fact #2: When Bernadette died 1879 and was buried, and 30 years later her body was exhumed in 1909 and here body was found to be UN-corrupted, fresh looking as the day she past away. This is an on going miracle of God; which brought many people to Christ. Here body is on display in a glass coffin for everyone to see and witness this miracle of God.

 

Fact #3: Mary appeared to three children in the town of Fatima, Portugal in 1917. There after appearing to the children 8 times she caused the miracle of the Sun which was reported by the newspaper of the town and of the whole country with newspaper of other country reporting it.


read it here: (copy and paste)

https://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun


Fact #4: The second message of Fatima was that Russia should be consecrated to her and in 1989 Pope John Paul went to Russia and consecrated Russia to Mary. Shortly after that Communism Russia fell. 


These three facts I just told you about was not done by Satan or his devils, for Satan would never do anything that would help sinner turn to God, believe in God for it was God who received credit for all these miracles.



My Final Conclusion

 

Finally, we the Servants of Christ Jesus of the Catholic Faith hold with the Orthodox Church, we do not "worship" the Virgin Mary. We "venerate" her and show her great honor. We do not hold to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that developed the idea that the Theotokos was born without sin “the Immaculate Conception” or that she is a co-redemptor with Christ (Redemtrix). The consensus of the Church Fathers rejects such ideas, and we and the Orthodox Church adheres to that consensus.


Special Note: This theological concept or teaching has nothing to do with your salvation. To believe this article will not save you and to not believe in this article will not condemn you. For me, I believe in Mary. There many things we believe that are not supported by the Bible, many things are believe from a richness of oral tradition that was never written down, but practiced and believe. "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." 2 Thess. 2:15


This the Protestants have a hard time accepting; but have no problem accepting certain family Christmas traditions that have never been written down but practice every Christmas. 


The Mother of our Lord

 

She bore him in pain

 

She suffered the pain of his death

 

She rejoiced in his resurrection