Friday, March 31, 2017

St Mary of Egypt, An Icon of Repentance

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.

In fact, I have written quite a few meditations - admittedly somewhat repetitious - that include St. Mary's Life or combine it with further comments on St. Andrew's Canon.  Those can be accessed here. At the end of the first meditation on this page, there is a link to The Life of St. Mary of Egypt in its entirety, included here for your convenience.

Or, there is a lengthy portion available on the OCA webpage.

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