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The Holy Theotokos


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The Holy Virgin Mary holds the highest place amongst the Saints in the Church since, through her, the Divine Plan was fulfilled. At the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus, the Fathers reaffirmed her to be the Theotokos (God-bearer). One of the Church Fathers testified to her place in the Divine Economy of salvation through this hymn: "All creation rejoices in you, O full of grace: the assembly of angels and the human race. O Sanctified Temple and Spiritual Paradise, glory of virgins, from whom God was incarnate and became a Child, our God Who is before the ages! He made your body into a throne and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens. All creation rejoices in you! O full of grace, glory to you."

The Old Testament foreshadows her prominence in the New Testament through the specific prophetic images. Among other symbols, she is symbolized as "the temple" for she is the dwelling-place of God and "the door" through which God entered our world. In keeping with these prophetic types, this icon is situated on the right side of the Enthroned Christ upon the icon screen, as the Psalmist indicates: "At Thy right hand stood the queen." (Ps. 44:9)

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