1. Religion & Spirituality
Scott P. Richert

Novena of the Week: For the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

By August 30, 2011

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Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is not, as both non-Catholics and all-too-many Catholics often assume, unique to the Catholic Church.Icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, egg tempera on wood, Central Russia, mid-1800's.  (Photo © Slava Gallery, LLC; used with permission.) The Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox (those Eastern churches that broke away from the universal Church in the wake of the Council of Chalcedon) continue to revere the Mother of God with a fervor that often puts Catholics to shame.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated on September 8 not only by Catholics but by Orthodox Christians of all stripes. Indeed, like so many other feasts of the Mother of God and of Christ, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary first arose among the Eastern Churches before spreading to Rome.

Thus it is appropriate, as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we pray for Christian unity, especially among those churches who all still revere the Mother of God. This Prayer for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which I have chosen as our novena of the week, reminds us of the necessity of Christian unity and asks Mary to intercede "to restore unity and peace once more to all the Christian people."

(Icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos, egg tempera on wood, Central Russia, mid-1800's. Photo © Slava Gallery, LLC; used with permission.)

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Comments
August 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(1) Fr. Robert (Anglican) says:

Also, the Eastern rite Catholics, and the EO tend to have a more biblical, and thus a very spiritual approach in their Marian devotion. Mary as the Theotokos is/was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus! The Council ensured the truth of the Incarnation, of which Mary is ever central: the Mother of the Incarnate Christ!

August 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm
(2) joseph godleski says:

sorry but the oriental churches split over the dual nature of christ in the 4th century the oriental churches believe christ two natures are absorbed into one where we in the eastern orthodox church believe they are 2 separate natures and distint truly god and trurly man and as for eastern orthodox leaving the universal church sorry but the pope broke from us to become infalible and supremecy and wanted to rule over the other 4 patriarches and you changed the creed go to rome and look at the creed that inscribed on the wall at the vatican you do not see the filoque in it also you added the doctrines of mary being born without sin also purgatory and indugenses and the priest knowing the exact moment in the mass when the commuion makes the change from bread to become the body of christ and blood of christ the eastern orthodox church say it is a mystery and it is not a concern to us to speculate when it happens in the divine liturgy these are the reason we in the eastern orthodox church can not pray or share commuion together until rome changes and stops saying she alone makes up the universal church the more you say these things by the people and the clergy in your church you drive a wedge farther in division the church of rome needs us more then we need you
you have fraction of break away eastern orthodox clergy and faithfull that make up your eastern rite churches the only oldest branches in your church after the schism of 1054 to the 1580′s are the maronite and the melkite the other 21 rites are those orthodox christians who chose to rejoin your church and subject themselves to the popes authority after the treaty of brest the other rites are 400 years to a 100 year old

August 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(3) joseph godleski says:

also the magazine called the catholic reporter or something like that found in local banes and noble stores
the magazine did a indepth issue on all the rites of the roman catholic church the history and thier dates of when they started and the number of faithfull the ukrainian have between 6-10 million and the rest are 2.5 million to the smallest rite having a quarter of a million people

October 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm
(4) autumn says:

joseph knows what he saying i agree with him i think ur smart and care about people and hes kind man dont let anyone say vur not cause i u have have a good heart keep up the good work of what u do im with u 100% wtg joseph

November 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm
(5) ? says:

you are a a catholic not orthodox

August 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm
(6) Scott P. Richert says:

Mr. Godleski, you have your timeline wrong; the Oriental Orthodox are also known as “non-Chaldedonian,” because they rejected the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, which was held in 451.

As for the rest of your comment, may I offer a suggestion? If you would like to discuss the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches here, I’m more than happy to do so. I spent much of my graduate work on the Eastern Fathers of the Church, and I’m about the most sympathetic Catholic you’ll find when it comes to the Orthodox. But I’m not interested in trying to slog through almost 1400 characters of text written without any capital letters or punctuation marks, and I doubt that many readers of the Catholicism GuideSite are, either.

It’s hard to win converts or influence people if you present your Orthodox faith in an indecipherable manner.

August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm
(7) joseph godleski says:

i meant the 400′s i know whne the council took place i got the century is the 5th century sorry about that and i am not good at puntuaces then can you please correct it for me i would be aprrenciate it that you

August 31, 2011 at 3:25 am
(8) joseph godleski says:

sorry but the oriental churches split over the denial of chirst dual nature . in 451 ad the 5th century the oriental churches rejected the council of Chalcedon. they believe christ two natures are absorbed into one .where we in the eastern orthodox church believe they two distinct natures chirst being truly god and trurly man at the same time and as for eastern orthodox leaving the universal church sorry but the pope broke from us to become infalible and gain supremecyy to rule over the other 4 patriarches and you changed the creed go to rome and look at the creed that inscribed on the wall at the vatican you do not see the filoque in it also you added the doctrines of mary being born without sin also purgatory and indugenses and the priest knowing the exact moment in the mass when the commuion makes the change from bread to become the body of christ and blood of christ the eastern orthodox church say it is a mystery and it is not a concern to us to speculate when it happens in the divine liturgy these are the reason we in the eastern orthodox church can not pray or share commuion together until rome changes and stops saying she alone makes up the universal church the more you say these things by the people and the clergy in your church you drive a wedge farther in division the church of rome needs us more then we need you
you have fraction of break away eastern orthodox clergy and faithfull that make up your eastern rite churches the only oldest branches in your church after the schism of 1054 to the 1580ís are the maronite and the melkite the other 21 rites are those orthodox christians who chose to rejoin your church and subject themselves to the popes authority after the treaty of brest the other rites are 400 years to a 100 year old

September 1, 2011 at 9:25 am
(9) autumn mansfield says:

i agree with you joseph godleski its all true !!!!

September 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(10) Fr. Robert (Anglican) says:

I would agree with Scott somewhat, Orthodoxy has become “indecipherable” often, and even sectarian in places, i.e. ethnicity. And the Mystery of Christ is always seen in a “Pilgrim Church”!

January 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm
(11) Phillip Cipriani Jr says:

I am Roman Catholic by birth and choice. I respect the right of all to choose and thus practice religious tolerance. The greatest love one can show of and to there fellow man is, tolerance. I have known two truly awesome Priest in my life “Father Andrew Blasko and Father Thomas Leyland”. They preached the Gospel. I ask one question “does a person’s opinion matter less because he does not now how to present it grammatically”. Our Lord and Savior gave his ear and thus attention to Gentiles and even Whores.

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