“For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed,” (Luke 1:48). These were among the words with which the Holy Virgin, the blessed St Mary, responded to the Annunciation by Archangel Gabriel that she, the one “full of grace” (Luke 1:28) would give birth to the “Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32).
The Coptic Orthodox Church has been celebrating the fast of the Holy Virgin for two weeks that started 1 Misra on the Coptic calendar, 7 August Gregorian, and end 16 Misra, 22 August, with the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin.
The Holy Virgin is known by many titles among which are: ‘Mother of the True Light’; the ’Good Dove’; and the ‘Second Heaven’ as in Acts 7:49: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool”. Since the Lord dwelt in the womb of the Holy Virgin, she has been denoted the ‘Second Heaven’.
The painting shown depicts the Holy Virgin as the ‘dove’ in meekness and gentleness, and as a white rose in purity. She also resembles the sky, the ‘heaven’, in beautiful soothing blue.
The clarity and transparency of the Holy Virgin’s garments recall her as the ‘Mother of True Light’; light shines from inside her to the outside, as she stands with a smile that wraps hidden grief. St Mary was truly pure and unconditionally obedient to God. “We magnify you, O mother of the True Light, and glorify you, O Theotokos, the Holy Virgin for you have born for us the Saviour of the world, who came and saved us” (Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Creed).
Watani wishes it readers a blessed fast and joyous feast of the Holy Virgin.