Saint Mary

The Coptic Church honours St Mary higher than anyone else in the prayers. Pope Shenouda teaches us that:

"There is not a human being whom Christians have loved so much as our Lady the Virgin Mary"

St. Mary was born to St. Joachim and St. Anna both righteous and pious parents who loved God.

At the age of three, St. Mary was taken to the temple and dedicated to God in fulfilment of her parents' promise to God. Even after being childless for many years before giving birth to St. Mary, her mother's faith was so strong that she willingly gave up her long awaited daughter to live with the virgins in the temple when she was three years old.

The Coptic Church celebrates the day of St. Mary's entrance into the temple in Jerusalem on the third day of the blessed month of Kiahk. St. Mary spent nine years learning the virtue of service within the temple and receiving her food from the hands of angels until the appointed time of the Incarnation of the Word. Since girls were not allowed to be kept in the temple after the age of twelve St Joseph, a carpenter of the tribe of David, was chosen as a caretaker for St. Mary.

During the time of St. Mary's engagement to St. Joseph, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would bear a son to be named "Jesus" the son of God. When St. Mary objected that she had no husband, the angel explained, "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" the Child will be called holy, the Son of God."

St. Mary was a woman of great strength, obedience and fortitude. Having been given no choices to major events surrounding her she continues until today to shine forth brilliantly. Through submission a harmonious disposition was obtained. St. Mary was a "pure" virgin. Pure meant that she loved good works, did not want to be seen by men, only by God. The Holy Bible displays her speech as calm and virtue steadfast. Her faith and devotion brought forth obedience to the Lord, respect from others, and a desire to live a retired family life.

The Coptic Orthodox Church loves St Mary very much in its prayers and praises.

May the intercessions and the prayers of the Mother of God, the Ever Virgin and pure in spirit St. Mary be with us all. Amen