When the time drew near for the birth of the Saviour of the
world, in the Galilean city of Nazareth, there lived a descendant of King David, Joachim,
with his wife Anna. They were both pious people and were known not for
their royal ancestry but for their humility and charity.
Their entire lives were permeated with love for
God and people. They lived to a ripe old age but never had children, and this
grieved them very much. In spite of their old age, they did not cease to
petition God to send them children. They made a vow that, if a child was born
to them, they would have consecrated it to the service of God. At that time,
every Jew hoped that his posterity would have taken a part in the kingdom of
the Messiah, that is, Christ the Saviour. Therefore, every childless Jew was
held in contempt by the others, for this was considered a great punishment by
God for one’s sins. This was especially trying to Joachim as a descendant of
King David because from his seed Christ meant to be born.
For their patience, great faith, and love for God
and for each other, God sent Joachim and Anna great joy. Toward the end of
their lives, a daughter was born to them. According to the command of an angel
of God, She was given the name Mary. The birth of Mary brought a joy not
only to Her parents but to all people because She was
foreordained by God to be the Mother of the Son of God, the Saviour of the
world. The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary is celebrated by the Holy
Orthodox Church as one of its major holidays on the 8th of September
(September 21 NS).
Troparion of the Feast
Thy Nativity, O Theotokos Virgin, hath proclaimeth joy to
all the world; for from Thee hath dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our
God, annulling the curse and bestowing the blessing, abolishing death and
granting us life eternal.
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