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Friday, September 9, 2011

St. Nikolai Velimirovich on the Nativity of the Theotokos

I borrow or blatantly plagiarize from John Sanidopoulos' excellent and praiseworthy blog, "Mystagogy".  The entire article by St. Nikolai, which also contains an account of the Nativity of the Theotokos and a reflection on the same, can be found here:

St. Nikolai was the bishop of Zhuca, or Žiča, and later the rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.  He worked out his sanctification in the concentration camp of Dachau during World War II, where he was arrested along with so many other Orthodox, Catholic, and some Protestant monastics and clergy, and where he was tortured and compelled under duress to give a speech slandering his fellow people outside the camp.  He was the author of a number of books including the well-known "Prayers by the Lake", now collected as volume 5 of the "Treasure of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality".  The following hymn of praise is in honor of the Nativity of the Theotokos:

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Nativity of the Most-holy Mother of God

O greatly desired and long awaited one,
O Virgin, thou hast been obtained from the Lord with tears!
A bodily temple of the Most-holy Spirit shalt thou become,
And shalt be called Mother of the Eternal Word.

The Burning Bush they called thee,
For thou wilt receive within thyself the divine fire:
Ablaze with fire but not consumed,
Thou shalt bear the Golden Fruit and offer it to the world.

Thou shalt be the Bearer of Him Who bears the heavens,
To Whom all of heaven offers up praise!
The Miracle of miracles shall come to pass within thee,
For thou shalt bear heaven, thou who art "more spacious than the heavens!''

Thou art more precious to us, O Virgin, than precious stones,
For thou art the source of salvation for mankind.
For this, may the entire universe glorify thee,
O Most-holy Virgin, O white Turtledove!

The King of Heaven shall desire to enter the world,
And shall pass through thee, O Beautiful Gate!
O Virgin, when thou dost become woman thou shalt bear Christ for us;
From thy body, the Sun shall blaze forth.

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