“The Virgin Mary looks a lot like the Icon of the Virgin Mary of Jerusalem. She is exactly the same. I have seen her many times and I don’t know of any other Icon resembling her so much.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

+

“O Queen of Heavenly beauty, embrace my heart with motherly caring.”

Saint Nikolai Velimivoric

+

“All the Saints wrote many praises to our Panagia. But I, the poor one, have found no words more elegant or sweet to describe her, than to cry out to her at every moment: “My dear Mother! My dear, sweet Mother! When my Soul departs may it come into your hands, and through them may it be given to its Creator, your Only-begotten Son.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

+

“Her hands steadied the first steps of Him Who for us steadied the Earth to walk upon, and her lips helped the Word of God form His first human words.”

Saint John of Damascus

+

“From among the few words of the Holy Virgin and Bride of God that are recorded in the Gospel, this is a precious teaching. Indeed, it is the only teaching that she gave to men during the time of her life on Earth. “Do whatever He says” – as though she were saying, “He knows everything. He can do all things. He loves you all. Therefore, do not consider the implications, but hearken to Him and obey Him.”

Saint Nikolai Velimivoric

+

“The Most Holy Mother of God Prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind. How many Churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many Healing Springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy! She is constantly by our side, and all too often we forget her.”

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

+

“What is sweeter than the Mother of my God?”

Saint John of Damascus

+

“One day Saint Ephraim of Katounakia had a guest. At some point he shakes standing up, reverently bows his head and silently waits for something. ‘What’s going on, Elder?’ The guest asks. ‘Forgive me, my child for this sudden move, but the Virgin Mary has just passed to Bless us. Every day she passes by the Cells of the Monks here on Mount Athos to Bless us all one by one”

+

“Save us, thy race, Our Lady! Save us, we who are of one blood with thee! Save us, Mother of Life and Mother of us all, although we are not worthy to call thee Our Mother! Cleanse, Sanctify, strengthen and save us through thy Prayers!”

Saint John of Kronstadt

+

“All-Holy Lady, Gate of Salvation, Bridge to God, Protector of Christians, pilot me on my way, O Virgin, for I am beset by the troubles of this life and tossed to and fro.”

Lenten Triodion

+

Elder Paisios, in this society we live in, what must we do to be saved?

And the Elder, in response, narrated the following incident:

“Listen, my children: At the beginning of our century, a huge fire broke out on Mount Athos and threatened the Monastery of Saint Panteleimon. Then 2000 Monks and 3,000 workers working there, took what they found in front of them and went out to face the fire. But they could not. Then the fire spread to Vatopedi. Hundreds of Monks and workers who were there could not, nor could they, stop it. The fire destroyed everything. Then the fire went on and reached Philotheou. Only 15 Monks and as many workers lived there at that time. Frightened, they took the shovels and ran outside to face the fiery flame that ate everything.

But a respectable Elder stopped them and said: “Where are you going brothers? Thousands of people in Vatopedi and Saint Panteleimon could not put out the fire and we, some thirty people, will save the Monastery?”

“And what shall we do, Elder? How will we be saved?” the brothers asked.

“We can not do it alone. Embrace Glykophilousa (“Sweet-kissing” or “Loving Kindness” Icon)! She is in front and we are behind!” the Elder told them.

So they did. In a short time, the fiery flames reached outside the Monastery, burned everything, but did not advance even a millimeter through the walls of the Monastery!

And Saint Paisios added:

“I know that evil like uncontrollable fire threatens you and your children. But hug Glykophilousa and do not be afraid! She has the power to put out the fire that threatens our home! She has the power to put out the fire that threatens our children! She has the power to extinguish the fire that threatens our Soul! Because the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God and the Mother of the whole world and no fire is greater than Her Love !!! Her hands are wings, and no calamity is stronger than her Protection! Embrace Her!”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

+

“We Pray to the All-Merciful and Most Pure Mother of God – and she Prays for us. We Glorify her – she who is above all Glory – and she prepares Eternal Glory for us.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

+

“If God the Father chose her, God the Holy Spirit descended upon her, and God the Son dwelt in her, submitted to her in the days of His youth, was concerned for her when hanging on the Cross – then should not everyone who confesses the Holy Trinity Venerate her?”

Saint John Maximovitch

+

“The storm of my thoughts plunges me into despair. I, a prodigal, have laid all my hope upon thee, O Mother of God. Thou alone, who didst bear the Deliverer of the world in thy womb, loosen my unloosenable bonds.”

Saint Ephrem the Syrian

+

“The candles lit before the Icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that she is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and – also of her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

+

“To the Panagia, supplicate to the Panagia, my child, because all the Saints supplicated the Panagia. A gift is not given to man by God, unless it is through the Panagia. The Panagia distributes the gifts to humanity, the Panagia distributes.”

Saint Ephraim of Katounakia

+

“Merciful and full of love, she manifests her love towards her Son and God in love for the human race. She interceded for it before the Merciful One, and going about the Earth, she helps men. Having experienced all the difficulties of Earthly life, the intercessor of the Christian race sees every tear, hears every groan and entreaty directed to her. Especially near to her are those who labour in the battle with the passions and are zealous for a God-pleasing life. But even in worldly cares she is an irreplaceable helper.”

Saint John Maximovitch

+

“I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the Holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the Holy Virgin who bore Him not be the Mother of God?”

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

+

“All you will need to do is one thing: kneel and say, ‘Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Saviour, save us’, and you will have a great protection.”

Saint Paisios the Athonite

+

“When you are about to Pray to Our Lady the Holy Virgin, be firmly assured, before Praying, that you will not depart from her without having received mercy. To think thus and to have confidence in her is meet and right.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

+

“Most Holy Mother of God, you’ll make me well, not the doctors! You promised… you’re our doctor!”

Saint Ephraim of Katounakia

+

“Know and remember, that the matter of your Salvation is always near to the heart of Our Lady, the Mother of God, for it was for this that the Son of God, by the favour of the Father, and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, chose her out of all generations and was Incarnate of her in order to save the human race from sin, the curse and the eternal death, of everlasting torments. As the matter of our Salvation is near to the Saviour, so likewise it is near to her. Turn to her with full faith, trust, and love.”

Saint John of Kronstadt

+

“Mary was made Mother of God to obtain Salvation for many who, on account of their wicked lives, could not be saved according to the rigour of Divine justice, but might be saved with the help of her sweet mercy and powerful intercession.”

Saint John Chrysostom

+

“Embrace in your arms the Icon of the Panagia as if she were alive, as you embraced your dear mother when you were little. Tell her all your pain, wet her Icon with your pure tears, then you will derive consistent consolation. She will intercede with her Son, Who is so good, Who loves the good, has mercy on the bad, and forgives repenting sinners. He will open the noetic eyes of your Soul and fill your heart with love and divine eros. And then your eyes will become two fountains of tears.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

+

Beloved Father Gabriel… At Holy Week, he did not fool around, did not joke, did not laugh, was thoughtful. He was experiencing the sin committed by humanity – the Crucifixion of Christ. On Good Friday, in such a frightened, loud and mournful voice, he shouted: ‘Help… Help… Christ carries the Cross along Calvary…’ There was no person in the Church who would not weep, the parishoners exclaimed and cried loudly… during the Liturgy, he said from the pulpit with tears in his eyes: ‘Do not leave… Do not leave the Blessed Virgin Mary! She is suffering now! Now all the Orthodox are near the Mother of God, who dares to leave her?! We must be near her… She is the Mother! She suffers for the torment and death of her Son!’ After all that was seen and heard, the congregation thought that they had seen with their own eyes the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ…

+

“The first thing which kindles ardor in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose?”

Saint Ambrose of Milan

+

“Our Panagia doesn’t get tired of hearing our pain/struggles. How many times I pleaded to our Panagia for different problems and she heard me!”

Saint Ephraim of Katounakia

+

“Saint Theophylact of Ohrid says that Zacharias “was outside himself and possessed by God” when he led the Virgin into the Holiest place in the Temple, beyond the second curtain – otherwise, his action could not be explained.”

Saint Nikolai Velimivoric

+

“The Panagia weeps, she weeps every day. She says to her Son: ‘My Son and my God, grant the world wisdom, forgive the world.”

Saint Sophia Kleisoura

+

“As soon as you open your mouth to call her, she hastens as a true mother. Therefore, don’t hesitate to call upon her at every moment, and you will find her an unmercenary helper and physician in your afflictions.”

Saint Joseph the Hesychast

+

“Why is it hard to believe that Mary gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin, when contrary to the law of nature the sea looked at Him and fled, and the waters of the Jordan returned to their source (Ps. 113:3). Is it past belief that a virgin gave birth when we read that a rock issued water (Ex. 17:6), and the waves of the sea were made solid as a wall (Ex. 14:22)? Is it past belief that a Man came from a virgin when a rock bubbled forth a flowing stream (Ex. 20:11), iron floated on water (4 Kings 6:6), a Man walked upon the waters (Mt. 14:26)? If the waters bore a Man, could not a virgin give birth to a man? What Man? Him of Whom we read: ‘…the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day; and they shall offer sacrifices, and shall vow vows to the Lord, and pay them’ (Is. 19:20). In the Old Testament a Hebrew virgin (Miriam) led an army through the sea (Ex. 15:21); in the New testament a king’s daughter (the Virgin Mary) was chosen to be the Heavenly entrance to Salvation.”

Saint Ambrose Bishop of Milan

+

“After the normal nine-month gestational period, Christ was born at the beginning of the tenth, in accordance with the law of gestation. It was the birth that surpassed the established order of birthgiving, as it was without pain; for, where pleasure had not preceded, pain did not follow. And just as at His conception He had kept her who conceived Him virgin, so also at His birth did He maintain her virginity intact, because He alone passed through her and kept her shut [Ezekiel 44:1-3]. While the conception was by ‘hearing’, the birth was by the usual orifice through which children are born, even though there are some who concoct an idle tale of His being born from the side of the Mother of God. For it was not impossible for Him to pass through the gate without breaking its seals. Hence, the Ever-Virgin remained virgin even after giving birth and never had converse with a husband as long as she lived.”

Saint John of Damascus

+

“Come, let us wonder at the Virgin Most Pure, wondrous in herself, unique in creation, she gave birth, yet knew no man; her pure Soul with wonder was filled, daily her mind gave praise in joy at the twofold wonder: her virginity preserved, her child most dear. Blessed is He Who shone forth from her!”

Saint Ephraim the Syrian