September 2018 English Newsletter Posted September 10, 2018 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                                            

Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing

In our lives we face challenging situations where we need the help of divine intervention and God’s grace to overcome it. The best way in which to overcome these challenging situations can be found in the lives of the saints and we all can learn from them.

In this letter we will discuss our Mother Saint Mary and how she faced difficult situations. We will contemplate some of the struggles she faced and how she overcame them so that we can use her life as an example for our own:

  1. Orphanhood: Saint Mary became orphaned at a young age. Her father departed when she was six and her mother when she was eight. Saint Mary was at the temple serving because she was offered to serve there as the result of a vow. Saint Mary overcame the painful feelings of being an orphan by remembering that she is God’s daughter who is serving in His Holy temple. So, she chose God’s compassion, care, and love to compensate for the love of her earthly parents.


  1. Leaving the Temple: When Saint Mary became of age, she had to leave her service in the temple that she consecrated her life to, including her virginity. She submitted to the system upheld at that time and became betrothed to Joseph, the righteous. She lived the life of worship and prayers at Joseph’s house and kept her virginity. Thus, she marveled and questioned when the angel announced to her, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus.” Lu. 1:30 She said, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Lu. 1:34 All this in spite of the fact that she was in the house of a man that society considered to be her husband.


  1. The Joyous Annunciation: The angel’s annunciation to the Virgin was a joyous one, but a difficult situation that the Virgin could not comprehend. How can a virgin conceive and give birth? How can a virgin be a virgin and a mother at the same time? And when she asked, the angel’s answer was, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” Lu. 1:35 So the angel offered her an example of Elizabeth who was six months pregnant with a son at an old age, in spite her being barren. This example illustrates the work of God, “For with God nothing will be impossible” Lu. 1:37 And there were examples in the past like Sara, who was also barren, who conceived Isaac in her old age. But for a virgin to conceive and give birth, this had never happened before nor will it happen again.

The Virgin submitted with a strong faith and said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me Lord according to your word.” Lu. 1:38 She did not think about what the people would say or what Joseph would say. But when Joseph suspected, she left the issue to God to reveal the truth to Joseph.


  1. Searching for the Boy Jesus: Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Jesus who was 12 went up to the temple, and on the way back they did not find Him. After three days of searching and anxiety, they found Him in the temple sitting among the scribes teaching them. Saint Mary said, “Son why have You done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought You anxiously. And He said to them, ‘why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Lu. 2:48 The Virgin did not understand this. The Bible says, “But His mother kept all these things in her heart.” 2:51 There are many things we don’t understand in our lives, but we should keep them in our hearts until God reveals them to us.


  1. The Cross: The Virgin stood in front of her Son’s cross crying after she followed Him through His journey of passion and suffering, but she was not only thinking as a mother looking at the passion of her Son and His crucifixion, but she was also looking at the salvation of the world through the crucifixion of her Son. Thus, the church tradition offers us the Virgin’s feelings and prayers at the crucifixion of Christ in the sixth litany in the ninth hour of Agpeya prayer, “When the mother saw the Lamb and shepherd, the Savior of the world, hung on the cross, she said while weeping: ‘The world rejoices in receiving salvation while my heart burns as I look at Your crucifixion which You are enduring for the sake of all, my Son and my God.’ ”

May the blessings of the Holy Virgin Saint Mary help us in facing our own difficult situations and bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity Programs.



Metropolitan Serapion