“Rejoice, Oh, Vessel unblemished, perfect, and spotless Woman”
Praises of St Mary read on Wednesday [ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘረቡዕ]
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit One God Amen
The Apostolic and patristic fathers have taught and passed early in the Holy Tradition to read and understand Old Testament typology as a foreshadowing of New Testament fulfillment. As it is thought traditionally in the Church, the New Testament [NT] lies hidden in the Old Testament. Typology of the Old Testament [OT] usually helps to make a more compelling and strong evidential support to explain and describe the dogma of church especially that of Christology and Mariology. God has foretold and portrayed extension of His grace to humanity in the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Virgin throughout the Old Testament. Rejoice, we say in our praises, for St. Mary is the preaching of the prophet and the fulfillment of their word [ Book of Praise of the St Mary prayed on Tuesday ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘሠሉስ]. The Church fathers have explicitly taught us the fulfillments of OT type in the NT are superior and greater in every way than that of the OT type as Our lord Jesus Christ and St Mary are to Adam and Eve. For example, St. Mary can not be just compared to the rock which brought forth streams when Moses hit the ground, but better because she has given us the true fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. In Romans 5:14, St Paul has called Adam a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. Similarly Church Fathers like St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. John Chrysostom, St Giorgis the Gascha [the Ethiopian St Cyril] and St Yaried [the Ethiopian Hymnologist] have presented St Mary as the new Eve, as a sinless who undo Eve’s disobedience. St. Ephraim the Syrian said, “Through her was destroyed the curse of olden time, which rested upon our race, through the wickedness which the woman committed [when] she ate [of] the tree. Through EVE was the door of the Garden shut fast, and because of MARY the Virgin it hath been opened to us again. It is allotted to us to eat of the Tree of Life, that is to say, the Body of CHRIST and His precious Blood”[Praise of St. Mary read on Thursday [ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘሓሙስ ]]. Therefore, we can confidently say that Typology of the Old Testament will help us in understanding the evidence for the dogma of sinless conception of St. Mary. Based on OT types described in Genesis 3:15-17, The Agazian Church has developed at least two main supporting evidence for St. Mary’s sinless conception: -
As the first Adam created from a virgin earth that was not cursed [Sinless], Our Savior Jesus Christ was born from a virgin that has no stain [Song of Song 2:4.] since conception [or a Virgin who hasn’t inherited “original sin”]. St Irenaeus (172 A.C ], the father of Mariology, elaborate more saying, “from this earth, then, while it was still a virgin, God took dust and fashioned the man….So the Lord, recapitulating this man, reproduced the scheme of His incarnation, being born of a virgin by the will and wisdom of God..”
As the first Adam was created from a virgin [sinless] earth as the bible said, “Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground [which was not cursed yet]” [Gen 2:7] , Our Savior Jesus Christ was born from a virgin [Sinless] St. Mary. St Irenaeus (172 A.C ], the father of Mariology, explained on the subject saying, “from this earth, then, while it was still a virgin [Sinless], God took dust and fashioned the man….So the Lord, recapitulating this man, reproduced the scheme of His incarnation, being born of a virgin by the will and wisdom of God..”. St Mary on the Praise read on Tuesday [ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘሠሉስ] is described as “the field wherein no seed was sown, and yet there went forth from you the fruit of life”. St May is way better than the first field, because those who eat the fruits of the field only get satisfied physically and later die as well, but whoever eats the fruit of her womb would have eternal life, and will raise on the last day. [John 6:54]
2. As the first Eve created from Adam’s rib with no sin attached, the second Eve [St Mary] with the grace of the Holy Spirit was born from her parents with no inherited “original” sin [Is. 1:9; Song of Song 2:4.] since conception.
This is why St. Mary is described in Praise of St. Mary read on Thursday [ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘሓሙስ ] as the second Eve. The Bible stated, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living”. But in reality, all people have died and went to hell after the first partners sinned. The Church fathers interpreted the above verse as after Adam and Eve sinned, and repented. God told Adam that He will save Him by taking a flesh from his great-granddaughter[Genesis 3:15 and Book of Clement]. Then Adam ‘chastly generated the virgin, Eve; he called her by name, mother of life, and so he was a prophet”. He foresaw through Eve, and named St Mary as the true mother of all living beings who would give birth to the true life giver who granted eternal life through the faith. St Ephrem has called St Mary, “Rejoice, O holy woman, you who art the mother of all living beings' '. St. Mary is the reason for the “way to Eden which has been blocked [due to Eve] was opened, the serpent fled and men passed along it to God ''. Finally, St. Ambros put it nicely saying, “Eve is called Mother of the human race, but Mary, Mother of Salvation ''. This is the main reason why we the Eritrean/Ethiopian Orthodox Holy Church Tradition continue to pray saying, “Rejoice, Oh, Vessel unblemished, perfect, and spotless Woman”
“It is meet for thee, O thou who art full of grace, more than for all the saints to pray on our behalf. Thou art greater than the high-priests, and thou art more honourable than the Prophets; in thee there is majesty of appearance which is greater than the majesty of the Seraphim and Cherubim.Verily thou art the glory of our race, and thou art she who must beg for life for our souls. Pray thou then on our behalf to our Lord and Redeemer JESUS CHRIST that He may confirm us in the Right Faith, that is to say, faith in Him and the He may graciously bestow upon us His mercy and compassion, and may in His abundant mercy forgive us our sins for ever and ever. Amen”.[ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘሰንበት]
May Her intercession and blessings be with us now and forever. Amen.