The Mother of Christ: The Mother of God by Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyannis.
Published by Orthodox Book Center, 2005.
In The Mother of Christ: The Mother of God Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyannis examines the conception, upbringing, and spiritual life of the Theotokos, her impact on society, and her importance to us personally – particularly when we depart from this life. He primarily draws from the apocryphal Protoevangelium of St James, ascribed to the ‘Brother’ of our Lord, writing from his personal daily experience of the Virgin Mary, who had adopted him upon her betrothal to his widowed father Joseph. These writings are also the source of services and hymns for various feasts to the Mother of God, such as her Conception, Nativity, Entry into the temple, and at the Christmas service.
In Part I, Archimandrite Vassilios covers the key events in the Mother of God’s life over 18 succinct chapters commencing with her parents, their persistence in prayer and disposition, through her years in the temple, annunciation, birth of Christ, flight to Egypt, the years of our Lord’s earthly mission and crucifixion. It continues post His resurrection, to her dormition, burial, and assumption. The focus in the 12 Chapters of Part II cover Panagia’s virtues, what they were, how she manifested them in her life, how she related to others, and her relationship to us.
The book provides us with a closer appreciation and sense of awe of the Mother of God: ‘thanks to her personal watchfulness and her own struggle she completely conquered the inclination, the propensity to sin directing it towards good, not even sinning in thought’. We are drawn by her virtue, pureness, love, and dedication to God and mankind: ‘because of her great loving kindness towards us the Mother of God never stays in heaven. She leaves paradise and hastens to the ends of the earth. Blessed are Christians who set all their hope on our merciful Mother. She will never let them down.’ This author successfully assists in bringing us closer to Panagia in gratitude and reverence and inspires us to ask for her intercession and to assist her in her mission to bring us closer to her Son and to our salvation.
Source: Lychnos August / September 2017