The Nativity of the Theotokos

The day we celebrate a feast which is the realization of so many of the icons of the Old Testament, the Nativity of the Theotokos. The Nativity of the Theotokos is the first Marian feast of the Church year. We rejoice with all creation the reality alluded to in Noah’s ark, the ark of the covenant, Jacob’s “house of God” where Heaven and Earth were united by a “ladder,” Ezekiel’s temple, the unburnt bush filled with the glory of God but not consumed.

The Son of God became man so that man could become god, and it is through the Theotokos that the God-Man Jesus Christ receives His humanity. Her love for God allows her to truly be the Mother of God, and therefore the rightful and most perfect mother of the Body of Christ, the Church. Christ says as much during the Crucifixion and the life of the Theotokos and the life the Church are forever linked, first in the most literal sense as she guided through charity and devotion the early Church and then upon her falling asleep continuing on in the same role in the Communion of Saints.

The model Christian exists, then, from the moment the Christian exists; the loving of God, the re-orienting of our lives to share in His nature, exists already at the birth of Christ, the joyous “Amen” to counter the refusal of Eve. But the Nativity is not yet the birth-giving Virgin nor yet the Incarnate Christ, but the little girl who will be called by the whole world Theotokos, Queen of Heaven, Mother of God. All of history, all of creation, all men and women of all places and ages and cultures must marvel in wonder at the mystery of the birth of the girl from whose womb the entire Universe would be restored.


“Your Nativity, O Mother of God, heralded joy to the whole Universe, for from You rose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God. He cancelled the curse and poured forth His grace; He vanquished death and granted us eternal life.”

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