Showing posts with label Mary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary. Show all posts

Sunday, September 8, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 8

The birth of Virgin Mary

Dear Virgin Mary, 
Happy Birthday to you!

The entire world rejoices at your birthday today. You remain in my hearts as a role model - someone whom I can approach any day, any time. I think of your parents, Joachim and Anne, as the happiest parents. We learned about the terrible grief they had encountered, which has been transformed into pure joy at your birth. In the heavens, LORD and his host of angels are excited at your birth as the LORD sees you being capable of carrying His only son in your womb. 

Am singing the same song which which Hannah sang, when Samuel was born. Your mother Anne must have sang the same song while you were born.

My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you;
There is no Rock like our God....

Here is a small birthday card for you:

And a chocolate cake

Happy Birthday to you!

Virgin Mary, 
One more request...
I sincerely wish that this lent never ended, as I experienced serene peace and wonderful joy during these days. Please continue providing the same comfort by offering prayers to the LORD on our behalf.

Dear LORD, 
Kindly accept the 'imperfect lent' of this unworthy servant, and shower blessings upon all my beloved and loved ones. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 7

My Dear Virgin Mary,
Hope you are doing well. Tomorrow is your birthday, and am thinking about getting you a birthday present. As I go through a list of things, I have no clue what you need - as you already have everything at your fingertips. You know how difficult it is, to get something for someone who has everything. Still, that does not prevent me from giving you something.

Aaaha - I know what you like; you like prayers :-) Let me pray to our LORD on your behalf. May I please hold your hands.

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.

We ask this through Christ our LORD.


Friday, September 6, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 6

Mary with parents 

We are day 6 into our 8 day lent. Two more days to go. 

Below are few facts about Mary

1. Apparitions (supernatural appearances) of Mary have been reported in every era in history and every country in the world.

2. Dante* said that Mary's face is the one that most closely resembles the face of Christ.

3. The early church fathers compared Eve to Mary. As Eve was the mother of humanity who fell into sin, Mary was the mother of a new humanity.

4. The Christian representation of Mary helped early converts from paganism connect with the Church.

5. Mary is regarded as a helper for those who grieve and to those who are in need of comfort. Grieving parents have taken comfort in her because she lost her own child in a tragic way.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 5

Mary being educated by her parents and surrounded by Angels

We just entered into the fifth day of our 8 day lent. I've lit a small wick lamp beside Mary's picture at home since Sept 1st, and plan to keep it burning till the 8th.

Both Christians and Muslims call her by the name 'Virgin Mary'. Virgin Mary holds the highest honor among all saints as well as any human beings born on earth, other than Jesus Christ.  To some, Virgin Mary is regarded even higher than the Angels.  Undoubtedly, St. Mary holds a key role in the Christian domain.  Thus, the prayer, "Hail Mary..."

I can hear those extremely sharp individuals reading this asking me, "What about Jews - don't they honor Virgin Mary?" Very apt and timely question. I did a research on that topic myself just before our 8 day lent began. To my dismay, I learned that all early Jewish writings related to Mary had been destroyed in an effort not to exemplify Virgin Mary. This was also in an effort to curb the growth of early Christianity. Hence, there is almost no mention of Virgin Mary in Jewish literature. However, that does not prevent the world from honoring her - She is one of the most sought after person in the Christian world.

If you call Mary the ‘Mother of God’, then logically, you have to call her sister Elizabeth, the ‘Auntie Christ’.

Did not get it? Scroll down!

Humor Explained
Mary is often quotes in literature and prayers as Mary, the Mother of God. Elizabeth happens to be the aunt of Jesus. Aunite Christ sounds almost like anti-Christ, which has a totally different meaning. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 4

We are into our fourth day of our 8-day lent. Let's offer our prayers together to St. Mary. 

Dear Mary, 
We offer you our soul, our minds
Make of us God's instruments
Give us a penetrating mind to discover, 
Firm to judge,
Open to understand, 
Free to serve the truth; 
An honest mind in telling what it sees 
Rather than what it wants to see, 
A tolerant mind 
Which does not dictate to other people
But which explains what it sees clearly;
A mind infused by the light and truth
Of your son Jesus, 
Patient in faith, 
While waiting for the vision
Of Eternal life. 

My Thoughts
If Virgin Mary were to visit us, as in the picture above and I were one of those kids, which one of them would be me? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 3

Virgin Mary with Jesus and Angels

When Mary was born, she was dedicated at the temple at the age of three. There she served the LORD. 

As we enter into the third day of lent, let us remember to praise Mary for all blessings she received. It goes without saying that Mary lived such a wonderful life that LORD Himself chose her to bear His only son. 

If someone tells me about a beautiful woman, the image of Mary comes to my mind. To me, there is none so beautiful as Mary - am talking about Her inner beauty. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 2

Joachim and Anna first lived in Galilee. They later came to settle in Jerusalem. Joachim went to the temple to offer sacrifices. The high priest rejected Joachim's sacrifice as Anna was barren and her childlessness was interpreted as a sign of divine displeasure.

Joachim was heart-broken and he withdrew to the desert, where he fasted and did penance for forty days. Angels then appeared to both Joachim and Anne and promised them a child. Joachim later returned to Jerusalem and embraced Anne at the city gate.

Joachim meeting Anne

An ancient belief prevailed that a child born of an elderly mother who had given up hope of having offspring was destined for great things.

(To be continued....)

My Thoughts
Joachim did not give up when the high priest rejected his sacrifice. The move to call out to the LORD was a smart one. We are capable of reaching out to the LORD directly, without the aid of any mediators such as priests. 

While Joachim was gone, Anna must have been doing the same at home - praying to the LORD with an even heavier heart, as the world was viewing her as barren.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

St. Mary's Birthday: Lent - Day 1

We are stepping into day 1 of our 8 day lent, honoring Mother Mary.

This is a widely observed lent in Eastern Orthodox circles.

During difficult times, try seeking the intercession of St. Mary. Ever approached your mother after a mischief, while it was hard to deal with your father, St. Mary can act as an intermediate person between us, and LORD.

As we are about to celebrate Mother Mary’s birthday, let us also be reminded that our life is LORD'S gift to us. While enjoying our life with friends and family, often times we tend to forget the fact that we are loved by LORD and we are blessed by Him who loves us. Mary never forgot this sublime reality. She knew very well that the same LORD who called her to be the mother of Jesus was with her all the time and that LORD loved her so much.

One way to honor the birthday of St. Mary is to imitate her virtues and celebrate with her the abundance of LORD'S blessings in our lives.

Mary's Story
Let's listen to the story regarding Mary's birth. These stories related to Mary appear from the Gospel of James.

Once upon a time, there lived a God-fearing couple - Joachim and Anne. Joachim, belonged to the royal family of David, while Anne, whose name means grace (in Hebrew), belonged to the Levite family of Aaron.

Joachim and Anne

After years of not having a child and continuous prayers to the LORD, an angel appeared to Anne and Joachim and said that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God - the same way Hannah dedicated her son Samuel in 1 Samuel.

(to be continued.....)

My Thoughts:
The Nazirite vow which Samson and Samuel took seems to be attractive. Am wondering what it takes to completely dedicate someone to the LORD - this is for my own sake. The idea of setting apart myself for the LORD sounds appealing to my own heart. But what should I do for that? Whom can I approach? I sincerely do not see the anticipated level of holiness in those godly people at my church. Therefore, I am inquisitive about experimenting it on my own self, in my own life. The big question I have is, "Can the kind of holiness & goodness explained in the scripture be practiced by humans or is it just another fairy tale?"

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mary's Birthday coming up

Mary holding Jesus and surrounded by Angels

Looking ahead into my calendar, I can see the birthdays of few dearest and beloved people in my life coming up. One such person is Mother Mary, whose birthday falls on September 8th.

A traditional lent spanning 8 days is observed in Eastern Orthodox Churches, which begins on September 1, and wraps up on the 8th. This year, let us observe the lent and offer prayers to honor this extraordinary woman who was blessed and privileged to become the mother of Jesus Christ.

Let's prepare ourselves to observe this lent, starting tomorrow.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Celebrated the Birthday of St. Mary

I just returned from church after Sunday school and a teachers' meeting.  As discussed in the class, we had special prayers celebrating the birthday of St. Mary - not sure how many understood it.

Every time we were reciting the 'Hail Mary... " during our service today, I was instead saying in my mind, "Happy Birthday Mary...." We had lots of payasam and I got home some too!!

Once again, Wish you a wonderful birthday, St. Mary.  May your prayers be a strong hold for us.

Celebrating St. Mary's birthday

There are two families that I have been fascinated about and wanting to learn about everything and everybody.  St. Mary's family happens to be one of them.  This is one of the families that's been abundantly blessed by the heavens and the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit is always visible with every member of this family.

Joachim and Anne with St. Mary at a young age.

This morning, I am heading to church to celebrate the birthday of St. Mary and to remember those wonderful qualities she possessed, the way she led her life, the hardships she had to face bringing up her son Jesus, and many others. 

St. Mary - we wish you a wonderful birthday. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Birthday St. Mary

Today, September 8th we celebrate the birthday of St. Mary.  She was born to Joachim and Anne. She later goes on to become the mother of Jesus Christ and the most blessed woman ever.

In every cultures, the birthday of every person merits a celebration. Family and friends gather to wish the "birthday child" many happy returns. There are well-wishing, balloons, cards, cakes, candles, a favorite meal, there are gifts and jests - everything that say, at least once a year:

 "You are special, there's only one of you, we are happy that you exist." 

The Birth of the Virgin Mary - Painting by Esteban Murillo located at Louvre, Paris

If we were to celebrate the birthday of St. Mary, I think an angel food cake would be appropriate, with white icing and blue icing for trim. The reason for white and blue is because white is a symbol of purity and blue symbolizes fidelity. Those are the two colors especially used for Mary. 

St. Mary with Parents - Joachim and Anne

Dear St. Mary - we wish you a very Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Assumption of Mary - day 15

Today, August 15. we commemorate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven.

May all your prayers be answered and may your family be blessed by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Assumption of Mary - day 11

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ya M R Y M

I have tried to include the transliteration of the popular Ya M R Y M Arabic song in English, along with the English meaning of each line. Here is the key: 
3= Ain “A” or “E” as in Adel  - 
7= hah “H” as in Hosny  
2=Hamza (stressed vowel) as in Wauhel

Ya meem reh yeh meem, ya set el-abkar, qad nelty ta3zeem, men noor el-anwar, wa wohebty ta3zeem, men 3endoo qad sar, wa 7amalty al-khaleq, man za la ya7tar.

O Mary, Lady of virgins, you attained greatness, from the True Light, You were exalted, by the Lord Himself, you bore the Creator, O what a great marvel!

Qad serty o3gooba, lel ro2sa2 amthal, dorrah ma7gooba , wa fi el-engeel qad qal, yo3tonek el-tooba, fi kol al-gial, ya ebna youaqeem, qad foqty el-cheroubim.

Wondrous among nations, wisdom to rulers, a hidden gem, and the gospel spoke of you: They give you blessings, in all generations, O daughter of Joachim, exalted above the Cherubim.

Man nal nelty, ya om el-ra7ma, wa anty qaad serty mamloo2a ne3ma, wa lel lahot serty, 7egaban lel-kalema, wa a7tar fik arbab al-tafheem. This article is copied from

You attained what no one could, O Mother of the Mercy, and you became, filled with grace, To the Divine you became, a veil for the Word, and greatly marveled, were you among the scholars.

Ya taboot el-3ahde, ya magmaret Haroun ya ro7 el-magd ya ebnat Sehioun, ya noor el-3oyoon beky nas3adoo, wa na7za bel-na3eem ya mamlou2a ne3ma.

O tabernacle of the covenant, O censer of Aaron, O spirit of glory, O daughter of Zion, O the light of eyes, with you we rejoice, and abide in grace, O full of grace.

Ya mamlou2a ne3ma, anty el-7esn el-7aseen, anty kanz el-ra7ma ya 3awn al-masakeen, be-ebnek zalet el naqma, ya sahfi3at el-qedisin, shafi3etna fil-za7ma ya om el-ra7im.

O full of grace, the fortifying fortress, the jewel of mercy, the aid of the poor, Your son has purged death, O the intercessor of saints, intercede for us, O Mother of Mercy.

Noqadem laky a-ta3zeem, ya set el-abkar, ya ebnat Yowaqim, ya korseyan mokhtar, wel-mawlood menky karim, azal 3anna ‘l-3ar al-elah el-3azeem, khalek el ad-har.

Hail to you, O Lady of virgins, O daughter of Joachim, the chosen throne, Righteous is your Son, He purged our shame, the glorious God, the Creator of ages.

Ya zen el-abkar, ya qods el-a7bar, ya tohr el-at-har, ya noor el-anwar, ya kanz ‘l-ne3ma, ya om el-ra7ma, anty heya ‘l-karma, al-mamlou2a athmar.

The adornment of virgins, the holy Mother, the purity of the pure, O light of lights, O jewel of grace, O Mother of Mercy, truly you are the vine, filled and bearing fruit.

Ya ebnat Yowaqim, qad nelty al-ta3zeem, anty heya Orshaleem, th(z)at al-magd wal fakhar, anty heya Sehioun, ya gawharan maknoon, fakakty el-masgoon, men yad el-makar.

O daughter of Joachim, you attained greatness, you are Jerusalem, glorious and honored, You are Zion, O precious jewel, you released the captive, from the Deceiver’s hand.

Ebnek khalas Adam, el-khaty el-nadem, we 3ataq el-3alam, men kol el-adrar, rabek men soghrek, lamma ra2a tohrek, qad tayab th(z)ekrek, fi kol el-aqtar.

Your son saved Adam, the repentant sinner, humanity He set free, from all adversaries, The Lord from your childhood, witnessed your purity, and therefore has blessed you, before all nations.

Arsal laky Ghabrial, bemo7kam el aqwal, wa basharek eth(z) qal, Allaho laky ekhtar, ro7 qodsoh malaky, wa sakan fi a7shaky, ya 3adra toobaky, fi kol el a3sar.

He sent you Gabriel, the Messenger of His words, and greeted you saying, “The Lord has chosen you, His Holy Spirit, filled and dwelt within you, blessed are you O Virgin, throughout all ages."

An gher el-ma7soos, al-rab el qodoos, menky ata wa do3aya Isoos, wa nazarat-ho el-absar, Mousa ra2a ‘l-3awsag, wal-nar fihi tata-2gag, wa aghsanoh tatawahag, ma darat-ho ‘nar.

The Unseen and Holy, was born from you, and was called Jesus, for all eyes to see, Moses saw the bush, blazing with fire, its branches flaming, yet the bush was not consumed.

Ena ma ra2at-ho ‘l-3aynan, moltaheban bel-niran, fi el-3awsag wal-aghsan, heya Mariam zenat el-abkar, wel-nar heya Isoos, al-rab e’-qodoos, mo3tina ‘l-namoos, maktooban fil-a7gar.

The blazing bush, which Moses had seen, was indeed Mary, the adornment of virgins, The fire is Jesus, the Holy Lord, who gave us the Law, engraved in stone.

Fi Ash3eya qad qeel, 3an haza ‘l-ta2weel, taled 3emanou2eel (Emanuel), al-malek el-gabar, wa 7azqeyal ra2a bab, dakhal feeh rab el-arbab, wa khetm el-bab mohab, 3alya e’-meqdar.

Isaiah prophesied, about the birth, of Emmanuel, the Almighty King, Ezekiel saw a door, through which the Lord entered, He sealed the door and claimed it, highly exalted.

3alen howa qadrek, le2an yasoo3 ebnek, lamma woled mennek, tazayanat el-amsar, wa aydan Danial, tanaba2 7aytho qal, ra2ayto ‘l-korsy el-3al, 3aleya el meqdar.

Highly exalted are you, and your Son Jesus, when He was born of you, the earth was adorned, And also Daniel, prophesied and said, “I saw the high throne, highly exalted.

Nazarto fo2 el-arkan, shebh ebn el-ensan, wa laho ‘l-soltan, 3ala kol el aqtar, wa howa rabo ‘qowat, wa men 7awloh taghamat, oloof wa rabawat, men 3ezamen wa waqar.

In the firmaments high I saw, one like the Son of Man, who has dominion, over all the earth, He is the Lord of Hosts, around Him are the ranks, thousands and myriads, glorifying in reverence.”

Ya ebnat Yowaqim, foqt el-karoubim, aydan el-serafaim, wa kol el-aba2 el-abrar, menky ga2 el-mawlood a’-rab el-ma3bood, yamda7 fiki Dawood, bel-3asharat awtar.

O daughter of Joachim, you are exalted above, the Cherubim and Seraphim, and all righteous fathers, The Lord was born from you, and David praises you, with his harp he sings, playing its ten strings.

El-watar el-awal, qawlon mobagal, wel-3adra ta7bal, bel-malek el-gabar, el-watar el-thany, Dawood fil-tahany, yoratel bel-al7an, ma3 darb el-qithar.

The sound of the first string, is in honor of your name, the Virgin will carry, the Almighty King, And with the second string, David rejoices, chanting with hymns, while playing his harp.

Wel-thaleth ya ‘bna, anty mo2tamana, bel-noor moshtamala, wal-rabo laky ekhtar, el-watar el-rabe3, esghy ya same3, th(z)a qawlon sha2e3, fi kol el-aqtar.

And the third O daughter, because you were faithful, you were filled with light, and the Lord chose you, The fourth string is sounded, so that all can hear, of her who is praised, all over the world.

Wel-khames khabar, 7amama heya tazhar, bel-th(z)ahab el-asfar, 3ala menkabayha sar, wel-sades qal fih, qawlan ma akhfih, lakeny arweeh, wa osh-heraho eg-har.

The fifth is a sign of hope, as a dove she appears, with Ophir gold, upon her shoulders, With the sixth he sung, praises I will not hide, but I will praise with him, and proclaim to all.

Wel-sabe3 eth(z) qal, ya gabal Allah el-3al, tagasad menky ‘l-mota3al, bela shak wala enkar, wel-thamen ranam, lel-3adra Mariam, ekhtarha ‘l-mo3azam wa kallalha bel-fakhar.

With the seventh string he said, O mountain of the High God, the High took flesh from you, without a doubt, And with the eighth he sang, to the Virgin Mary, the Great chose her, and crowned her with honor.

El-tase3 qal 3anha, yazhar 7aqan menha, al-Elah wa howa ebnaha, wal-bokooreya fi 7efzen wa waqar, El-watar el-3asher, Allah el-qader, fi Sehioun zaher, maskan el-abrar.

With the ninth string he said, from her will surely come, God her son, who sealed her virginity, With the tenth he sang, the Powerful God, in Zion he appeared, the dwelling of the righteous.

Lam yowgad fi el-dahr, methlek ayatoha ‘l-bekr, le2anek fakakty el-asr, 3an Adam wal-3ar, ya sayedet el-akwan, ya fakhr el-eiman, ana 3abdek 7ayran, gharek fil-awzar.

There isn’t in all ages, anyone like you O Virgin, for you released the chains, and shame of Adam, O Lady of the creation, the pride of faith, your servant is in need, drowning because of sins.

3alen howa qadrek, la tatroky 3abdek (ya mariam), qasdy men ebnek, 3etqan men el-nar, le2anaky kher man yeshfa3, wa lel-do3a yesma3, we 3ana yedfa3, darabat el-makar.

Intercede for me, do not leave your servant, ask your son to save me, from the fire, For your intercession, is heard and accepted, and He defends from the attacks, of the adversary.

Qom enhad ya meskeen, wa ‘lbes thob el-yaqeen, wa qol amin amin, fa heya tashfa3 fil-7odar, wal-nazem el-meskeen, made7ha fi kol 7in maloh yom el-din, sewa sayedet el-abkar.

Arise O poor one, and clothe yourself in faith, and say Amen Amen, for us she intercedes, The persistent servant, will always praise her, for by his side that Day, the Lady of virgins shall be.


Further, for song lovers, here is a site that has quite a few Arabic spiritual songs, including some of St. Mary's.

Credits: Saint Takla Church, St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church

Assumption of Mary - day 10

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Assumption of Mary - day 8

A prayer to St. Mary:

Holy Virgin Mary, you are reigning in glory, with Jesus, your Son.
Remember us in our sadness. Look kindly on all who are suffering
or fighting against any difficulty.
Have pity on those who are separated from someone they love.
Have pity on the loneliness of our hearts.
Have pity on the weakness of our faith and love.
Have pity on those who are weeping, on those who are praying, on those who are fearful.
Holy Mother, please obtain for all of us hope and peace with justice.