EC and Marian devotions and apparitions

Sort of a two-parter:

First, I was wondering about the general Eastern Catholic view of devotion to the Blessed Mother. Do you pray the rosary, for example? Is this primarily a Latin thing, or do Eastern Catholics have their own traditions of Marian devotion?

Secondly, I’m curious about the Eastern view of Marian apparitions- particularly the accepted ones like Lourdes, Fatima, Guadelupe, etc. Are there any traditionally Eastern private revelations that are comparable?

The apparition of St. Mary at Mount Zeitoun in Egypt is approved by both the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic Churches.

Blessings,
Marduk

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

In the Byzantine Church We honor Mary as the Theotokos, She who Gave Birth to God.
Throughout the Divine Liturgy we honor the Theotokos. As we complete the first Litany we Remember "our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary."
As we sing the Antiphons we sing " Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior save us."
Following the Epiklesis we again honor the Theotokos with a hymn that begins with "It is truly proper to glorify you O Theotokos."
We may sing hymns to the Theotokos before and after the Divine Liturgy.
On the Icon Screen it the front of our church building we have and Icon of the Theotokos with Jesus Christ next to the Royal door welcoming us with her Son our Savior at the gateway to Heaven. Behind the Altar we traditionaly have an icon of the Theotokos, the Bridge between Heaven and Earth.

We also have Feast Days(Holy Days) dedicated to the Theotokos. To cite a few, Her birth, Her Falling asleep, Her entrance into the temple, Her Protection.

We also have services dedicated to the Theotokos. We celebrate and Akathist to the Theotokos, a Moleben to the Theotokos, and the Paraclisis.
I think in our Eastern Church we do have devotion to the Theotokos.

What I’m going to say next is not meant as a criticism, it is an observation. It seems that Western Catholics equate devotion to the Theotokos with the recitation of the Rosary. To the Eastern Church the Rosary is a private devotion that some practice and others don’t.

Yours in Christ,
Father Deacon Paul

**
The apparition of St. Mary at Mount Zeitoun in Egypt is approved by both the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic Churches.**

And by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria as well.

Eleutherius gave a fabulous summary of devotion to the Theotokos in the Eastern Churches; I’d just like to interject that this is something I really struggled with as a Latin - once I found the Byzantine Church everything seemed to ‘fall into place’ for me with respect to Mary.

The apparition of St. Mary at Mount Zeitoun in Egypt is approved by both the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic Churches.

And by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria as well.

For those who are unaware of this apparition, there are a few pictures associated with it. Here is one:

God bless,

Rony

Sort of a two-parter:

First, I was wondering about the general Eastern Catholic view of devotion to the Blessed Mother. Do you pray the rosary, for example? Is this primarily a Latin thing, or do Eastern Catholics have their own traditions of Marian devotion?

Secondly, I’m curious about the Eastern view of Marian apparitions- particularly the accepted ones like Lourdes, Fatima, Guadelupe, etc. Are there any traditionally Eastern private revelations that are comparable?

There is a huge corpus of liturgical hymnography to the Mother of God in the Eastern Catholic traditions. The Akathist to the Mother of God was the first para-liturgical devotion to the Mother of God, some six hundred years or more before the Rosary. This was a set of poetic strophes praising the Mother of God in the context of the Annunciation. The late Holy Father John Paul II has spoken of this beautiful devotion and himself prayed it publically.

In my own particular Ukrainian Greek Catholic tradition, every liturgical office has a proper to the Mother of God. At Compline most nights a Canon or set of poetic odes to the Mother of God is taken. Within the Divine Liturgy there are also frequent commemorations of the Mother of God and specific hymns sung in her honor.

There is also a large tradition of Marian songs with most Eastern Catholic traditions sung during, before or after the Divine Liturgy, sung during processions, etc.

To answer your second question, while there are apparitions, more notably there are miracle-working icons of the Mother of God that have special commemorations associated with them. In my Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church we many such as the Zarvanytsia, Pochaiv and Zhirovitsi icons of the Mother of God.
FDRLB

Why do some Easterners continually denigrate Latin tradition?

Before I opened this thread, I assumed, against my wishes, that the first post by an Eastern Catholic would indeed jab at the Latin tradition. Sure enough, Father Deacon Paul’s post ended with an insult to how the Mother of God is most often venerated in the Latin tradition.

Then Diak feels the need to point out that the Akathist to the Theotokos is 600 years older than the Rosary. I am sure he will defend his comments by saying he was just trying to give the questioner a feel about how ancient is Eastern devotion to Our Lady. Still, the need to compare and contrast in a way that seems to belittle the Latin Tradition is uncalled for, but unfortunately par for the course.

Remember how many Eastern Catholics supposedly had an inferiority complex before Vatican II and had to legitimize their Catholicism by importing Latin practices? My, how the pendulum does swing in regards to inferiority/superiority complexes.

If I had seen these sorts of comments only once, or twice, or a thousand times, it would be one thing. But over the course of years, I have seen untold numbers of comments slamming Latin tradition, as if it is not somehow just as legitimate (and often, just as ancient or moreso) as Byzantine tradition.

In the interest of Christian charity, I BEG our Byzantine Catholic brothers and sisters to extoll the virtues of your own Rite without disparaging our venerable and ancient Latin Rite in the process.

BEAUTIFUL!!!

I don’t think either of these posters were remotely close to doing what you’re accusing them of. The first simply said that devotion to Our Lady goes beyond the Rosary, so don’t think Eastern Catholics aren’t as devoted if they don’t recite it, and the second poster you mentioned simply pointed out a historical fact that highlights the depth and historical length of the Byzantine devotion to Our Lady.

Neither of them disparaged the Rosary, or Latin tradition, in any way. They were simply pointing out the distinct but parallel devotions, and how truly deep they run in the Eastern traditions.

As a side note, I was told by a friend, whom I had just exposed to the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, to NEVER show it to a Protestant as it would seriously harm any efforts towards convincing them we don’t worship Mary. Good thing that the version he saw didn’t include the common refrain that is said when Mary is mentioned in the Divine Liturgy: “Theotokos, save us!” :smiley:

Peace and God bless!

If you believe that anything posted here has been insulting, please blame me and not the people who’ve responded. Because I opened the thread and I did specifically ask for comparisons to Latin traditions…

Upon reflection, I apologize to Diak and Father Deacon. I perhaps spoke in haste.

I’m just oversensitive to it because I really have seen it done time and time again.

Claire - I can also point you towards some specific examples of those devotions as well, if you would like to delve further into this fascinating subject.

There is so much more that can be said, I feel as if I am not doing justice to this glorious subject and only scratching the surface. One example is a special feast day we have in October called the Protection of the Mother of God (Pokrova); many of our parishes have that name. It commemorates an apparition of the Mother of God over the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople.

This may also be (I would have to check on this to make sure) the very first liturgical commemoration of an apparition of the Mother of God. I believe Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise was also the first to dedicate his entire nation of Rus’ Ukraine to the protection of the Mother of God in the 11th century.

Of course this is not to say that Eastern Catholics do not use the Western Rosary or a variation called the “Rule of the Mother of God” or something similar. I usually try make to the Latin parish at least once a week near my office for the public recitation of the Rosary after the early weekday Mass.
Fr. Deacon RLB

Yes, please do! I’d love to investigate this further.

What about Fatima, Lourds and Guadelupe? I mention those three because they’re the biggies in the Latin Church. Is there any kind of general concentual view of these apparitions in the Eastern Catholic Church or the OC? Generally accepted, or denied, or ignored? Or something else…?

The Russian Orthodox Church vociferously reject the apparition which predicted the communist rise (I forget which one it was). They interpret the statement of the Blessed Virgin to “convert Russia” as a reference to converting Russian Orthodoxy to Catholicism. Of course, EVERYONE ELSE seems to understand she meant the conversion of Russian communist atheists to Christianity, as she made the statement on the heels of her prediction of the rise of communism.:shrug:

I have read many Orthodox venerate the apparition at Medjugorge.

The Eastern Orthodox in Mexico have (strangely?) accomodated the veneration of the Lady of Guadalupe to their Church.

Blessings,
Marduk

EVERYONE ELSE seems to understand she meant the conversion of Russian communist atheists to Christianity, as she made the statement on the heels of her prediction of the rise of communism

The Russian Orthodox Church was in the flow of a great internal missionary expansion at this time.

Communism is NOT a Russian error but was cooked up by a German Jew living in England.

Dear brother bpbasilphx,

But the rise of communism stymied those efforts, right? Obviously, the words of the Theotokos’ at Fatima (Lourdes? I forget) would still need to be heeded.

[quote=]Communism is NOT a Russian error but was cooked up by a German Jew living in England.
[/quote]

But it was in Russia that communism gained its greatest (and worst) expression.

Blessings,
Marduk

P.S. Are you a priest? I would like to address you properly.

mardukm: It was Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the official Patroness of the Americas. Would this apply only to Latin Catholics, or would Eastern Catholics in the Americas also venerate her as such? Our Lady of Guadalupe is often associated with Mexico (and rightly so), but her patronage does extend across the entire New World. As a reflection of this, there is a very large icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe at my local cathedral here in Canada (even though we have a relatively small Hispanic population).

Marduk,

I think you’ll find a good many Catholics who do not think the conversion of Russia has happened yet. There are still, sadly, so very many problems in Russia.

Anyway, re: your comment about OL of Guadalupe being strangely accommodated in EO churches…I actually just finished writing a paper on an article by anthropologist Eric Wolf where he goes into detail explaining how OL of G. serves as a master symbol for Mexicans and is so tightly connected to Mexican patriotism, politics, and national pride, that it is no surprise that non-Catholic Mexicans would venerate and honor her.

The Ruthenians now have propers for OL of Guadalupe…we sang them on the feast in December.

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