Dear Parish Faithful,
An Icon of Repentance
|Icon of St Mary & St Zosimas, by Fr Andrew Tregubov|
Yesterday evening (March 30), we read and heard the entire Life of St. Mary of Egypt in the church as we also chanted a part of St. Andrew's Canon of Repentance. It seemed like we had present the largest group ever for this service.
In that Life we heard that St. Mary died on April 1, in the year of our Lord 522 A.D. Thus, April 1 is the date on which her name appears on our Church calendar as her day of commemoration. Her "death day" is her "birthday" into the Kingdom of Heaven. And we also commemorate her on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, coming up this weekend. So, a good deal of recent and immediately upcoming focus on St. Mary of Egypt, that great "icon of repentance."
A few years back (2011) I wrote a Meditation on St. Mary entitled "Inappropriate Material for Church?" The point of the Meditation was to reflect upon the heavy stress on unlimited sexual license that we hear about in the opening section of her Life, a focus that can raise an eyebrow or two since it is read in church. If you would like to read more about this, here is a link to that Meditation.
Or, there is a lengthy portion available on the OCA webpage.