LAST UPDATE: 3/4/2021 17:50
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Third Stasis of the Salutation to the Most Holy Theotokos at the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae on Friday, April 2.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that “the Virgin Mary belongs to the core of the Orthodox identity and the mystery of the Church thanks to her essential role in the Divine Economy. As Saint John of Damascus wrote, the name of the Virgin Mary is the whole mystery of economy.
It reminds us that the Virgin Mary is the Liberator and that our faith is a path to freedom. We pray to the Virgin Mary to liberate us from the dangers and to lead us to “true freedom” which is life in Christ. Here is the quintessence of our Orthodox identity.”
Then the Ecumenical Patriarch added that every year the Holy and Great Forty and the solemn services of the Akathist Hymn coincided with the arrival of spring.
The late Metropolitan of Chalcedon, Meliton, wrote that the Holy Lent is like a “spiritual spring,” which calls us to let God scatter the snow inside us… May every gorge of our soul be filled with green grass and spring flowers.” Christ, “the Gardener of Spring, of the Resurrection,” if we want it so much, “can make human life a flower garden.”