Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
The Eleusa is a type of depiction of the Virgin Mary in icons in which the infant Jesus Christ is nestled against her cheek. In the Western church the type is known as the Virgin of Tenderness; such icons have been venerated in the Eastern Church for centuries. Similar types of depictions are found in Madonna paintings in the Western Church where they are called the Madonna Eleusa, or Virgin of Tenderness. By the 19th century examples such as Lady of refuge were widespread and they were used in retablos in Mexican art. In Eastern Orthodoxy the term Panagia Eleousa is used; the Theotokos of Vladimir and Theotokos of Pochayiv are well-known examples of this type of icon. Eleusa is used as epithet for describing and praising the Theotokos in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. While the Eastern Church does not venerate three-dimensional objects, Eleusa-style reliefs and sculptures, as well as icons, have been used in the Western Church; the Pelagonitissa is a variant. List of Theotokos of St. Theodore icons Marian devotions Marian art Byzantium: faith and power, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on Eleusa icons
Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, he gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing the Panarion, a large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts. According to Ernst Kitzinger, he "seems to have been the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue", there has been much controversy over how many of the quotations attributed to him by the Byzantine Iconoclasts were by him. Regardless of this he was strongly against some contemporary uses of images in the church. Epiphanius became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew, born in the Old Yishuv in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups.
He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, he founded a monastery at Ad nearby, mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Egyptian and Latin, was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossis, his reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus, he served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism, he upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, supported by the Eastern Churches.
In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus. During a visit to Palestine in 394 or 395, while preaching in Jerusalem, he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, to condemn his writings, he urged John to be careful of the "offence" of images in the churches. He noted that when travelling in Palestine he went into a church to pray and saw a curtain with an image of Christ or a saint which he tore down, he told Bishop John that such images were "opposed... to our religion". This event sowed the seeds of conflict which erupted in the dispute between Rufinus and John against Jerome and Epiphanius. Epiphanius fuelled this conflict by ordaining a priest for Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, thus trespassing on John's jurisdiction; this dispute continued during the 390s, in particular in the literary works by Rufinus and Jerome attacking one another. In 399, the dispute took on another dimension, when the Bishop of Alexandria, who had supported John, changed his views and started persecuting Origenist monks in Egypt.
As a result of this persecution, four of these monks, the so-called Tall Brothers, fled to Palestine, travelled to Constantinople, seeking support and spreading the controversy. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, gave the monks shelter. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria saw his chance to use this event to bring down his enemy Chrysostom: in 402 he summoned a council in Constantinople, invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403. Letter LI in Jerome's letters gives Jerome's Latin translation, made at Epiphanius' request, of his letter in Greek from c. 394, "From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem".
The final section covers the quoted incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius and quoted by the Iconoclasts, is accepted as authentic by modern scholars: 9. Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church and embroidered, it bore an image either of one of the saints. Seeing this, being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place.
As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, said that I would send it at once. Since there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, thought it right to se
Panachranta is a type of icon in the Eastern Orthodox Church, that refers to the all immaculate Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. Aeiparthenos Immaculate Conception
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary was a 1st-century BC Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, according to the New Testament and the Quran. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin; the miraculous conception took place when she was betrothed to Joseph. She accompanied Joseph to Bethlehem; the Gospel of Luke begins its account of Mary's life with the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. According to canonical gospel accounts, Mary was present at the crucifixion and is depicted as a member of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. According to Catholic and Orthodox teachings, at the end of her earthly life her body was raised directly into Heaven. Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion, she is claimed to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Mother of God.
There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the relative brevity of biblical references. Mary has a revered position in Islam, where one of the longer chapters of the Quran is devoted to her. Mary's name in the original manuscripts of the New Testament was based on her original Aramaic name מרים, translit. Maryam or Mariam; the English name Mary comes from the Greek Μαρία, a shortened form of Μαριάμ. Both Μαρία and Μαριάμ appear in the New Testament. In Christianity, Mary is referred to as the Virgin Mary, in accordance with the belief that she conceived Jesus miraculously through the Holy Spirit without her husband's involvement. Among her many other names and titles are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, although the title "Queen of Heaven" was a name for a pagan goddess being worshipped during the prophet Jeremiah's lifetime.
Titles in use vary among Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants and other Christians. The three main titles for Mary used by the Orthodox are Theotokos, Aeiparthenos as confirmed in the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, Panagia. Catholics use a wide variety of titles for Mary, these titles have in turn given rise to many artistic depictions. For example, the title Our Lady of Sorrows has inspired such masterpieces as Michelangelo's Pietà; the title Theotokos was recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The direct equivalents of title in Latin are Deipara and Dei Genetrix, although the phrase is more loosely translated into Latin as Mater Dei, with similar patterns for other languages used in the Latin Church. However, this same phrase in Greek, in the abbreviated form ΜΡ ΘΥ, is an indication attached to her image in Byzantine icons; the Council stated that the Church Fathers "did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God". Some Marian titles have a direct scriptural basis.
For instance, the title "Queen Mother" has been given to Mary since she was the mother of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the "King of Kings" due to his ancestral descent from King David. Other titles have arisen from special appeals, or occasions for calling on Mary. To give a few examples, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Navigators, Our Lady Undoer of Knots fit this description. In Islam, she is known as mother of Isa, she is referred to by the honorific title sayyidatuna, meaning "our lady". A related term of endearment is Siddiqah, meaning "she who confirms the truth" and "she who believes sincerely completely". Another title for Mary is Qānitah, which signifies both constant submission to God and absorption in prayer and invocation in Islam, she is called "Tahira", meaning "one, purified" and representing her status as one of two humans in creation to not be touched by Satan at any point. The Gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most identifying her by name twelve times, all of these in the infancy narrative.
The Gospel of Matthew mentions her by name six times, five of these in the infancy narrative and only once outside the infancy narrative. The Gospel of Mark names her once and mentions her as Jesus' mother without naming her in 3:31 and 3:32; the Gospel of John never mentions her by name. Described as Jesus' mother, she makes two appearances, she is first seen at the wedding at Cana. The second reference, listed only in this gospel, has her standing near the cross of Jesus together with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleophas
Theotokos of Tolga
The Theotokos of Tolga is a Russian Orthodox icon representing the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus Christ. The Theotokos of Tolga, named after the Tolga river in Yaroslavl, is known in three copies created between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th-century, they were drawn in Eleusa type. One of them, traditionally called a "Manifested" icon, was manifested to Prokhor, the Bishop of Rostov in 1314; the icon version of the end of 13th-century is held in the Tretyakov Gallery, while the Manifested one is in the Tolga Monastery. Tolgskaya III was created circa 1327, it is held in the Russian Museum. Theotokos of Tolga is referred to as the patroness of the Yaroslavl land. Media related to Tolgskaya of Yaroslavl at Wikimedia Commons Theotokos of Tolga at the Pravoslavie.ru
Theotokos is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara, are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer"; the title has been in use since the 3rd century, in the Syriac tradition in the Liturgy of Mari and Addai and the Liturgy of St James. The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos because her son Jesus is both God and man: one divine person with two natures intimately and hypostatically united; the title of Mother of God is most used in English due to the lack of a satisfactory equivalent of the Greek τόκος / Latin genetrix. For the same reason, the title is left untranslated, as "Theotokos", in Orthodox liturgical usage of other languages. Theotokos is used as the term for an Eastern icon, or type of icon, of the Mother with Child, as in "the Theotokos of Vladimir" both for the original 12th-century icon and for icons that are copies or imitate its composition. Theotokos is an adjectival compound of two Greek words Θεός "God" and τόκος "childbirth, parturition.
A close paraphrase would be " whose offspring is God" or " who gave birth to one, God". The usual English translation is "Mother of God"; the Church Slavonic translation is Bogoroditsa. The full title of Mary in Slavic Orthodox tradition is Прест҃а́ѧ влⷣчица на́ша бцⷣа и҆ прⷭ҇нод҃ва мр҃і́а, from Greek Ὑπεραγία δεσποινίς ἡμῶν Θεοτόκος καὶ ἀειπαρθένος Μαρία "Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary". German has the translation Gottesgebärerin. "Mother of God" is the literal translation of a distinct title in Greek, Μήτηρ του Θεού, a term which has an established usage of its own in traditional Orthodox and Catholic theological writing and iconography. In an abbreviated form, ΜΡ ΘΥ, it is found on Eastern icons, where it is used to identify Mary; the Russian term is Матерь Божия. Variant forms are the compounds Θεομήτωρ and Μητρόθεος, which are found in patristic and liturgical texts; the theological dispute over the term concerned the term Θεός "God" vs. Χριστός "Christ", not τόκος vs. μήτηρ, the two terms have been used as synonyms throughout Christian tradition.
Both terms are known to have existed alongside one another since the early church, but it has been argued in modern times, that the term "Mother of God" is unduly suggestive of Godhead having its origin in Mary, imparting to Mary the role of a Mother Goddess. But this is an exact reiteration of the objection by Nestorius, resolved in the 5th century, to the effect that the term "Mother" expresses the relation of Mary to the incarnate Son ascribed to Mary in Christian theology. Theologically, the term "Mother of God" should not be taken to imply that Mary is the source of the existence of the divine person of Jesus, who existed with the Father from all eternity, or of her Son's divinity. Within the Orthodox and Catholic tradition, Mother of God has not been understood, nor been intended to be understood, as referring to Mary as Mother of God from eternity — that is, as Mother of God the Father — but only with reference to the birth of Jesus, that is, the Incarnation. To make it explicit, it is sometimes translated Mother of God Incarnate..
The Nicene-Costantinopolitan Creed of 381 affirmed the Christian faith on "one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds", that "came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, was made man". Since that time, the expression "Mother of God" referred to the Dyophysite doctrine of the hypostatic union, about the uniqueness with the twofold nature of Jesus Christ God, both human and divine. Since that time, Jesus was affirmed as true Man and true God from all eternity; the status of Mary as Theotokos was a topic of theological dispute in the 4th and 5th centuries and was the subject of the decree of the Council of Ephesus of 431 to the effect that, in opposition to those who denied Mary the title Theotokos but called her Christotokos, Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person, both God and man and human. This decree created the Nestorian Schism. Cyril of Alexandria wrote, "I am amazed that there are some who are in doubt as to whether the holy Virgin should be called Theotokos or not.
For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how is the holy Virgin who gave birth, not?". But the argument of Nestorius was that divine and human natures of Christ were distinct, while Mary is evidently the Christotokos, it could be misleading to describe her as the "bearer of God". At issue is the interpretation of the Incarnation, the nature of the hypostatic union of Christ's human and divine natures between Christ's conception and birth. Within the Orthodox doctrinal teaching on the economy of salvation, Mary's identity and status as Theotokos is acknowledged as indispensable