Greece and Mary, Theotokos

In Greece, the Mother of God is cherished, praised, and honored. Echoes from the Council of Ephesus held in the year 431 AD continue to resonate. The language, the liturgy, the literature, the visual arts, everything was used to serve her.

The Greek language formed the beautiful title of Theotokos, « the one who bears God », because she bore God incarnate in her womb.

In the liturgy, we find the eulogistic Akathist Hymn, and this Byzantine prayer frequently recited: « As we remember the all-holy and ever-virgin Mary, the all-blessed and glorious Mother of God, with all the saints, let us entrust ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ, Our God. »

Saint Andrew of Crete († 740) invited the faithful to be united with the one he called the Mother of  Beauty, in order to receive like her the excellent and divine imprint, which constitutes our deification. Saint John of Thessalonica (c. 630) meditated on the Assumption of Mary, attributing to Mary a rapport both maternal and fraternal with the human race.

Mount Athos is a high place of prayer for the monks who live there, under Mary's gaze.

Cloistered nuns live in the Meteora monasteries (Greek: Mete'wra, "suspended rocks" or "suspended in the air") in central Greece.

Among the most popular shrines we find the relatively recent Tinos (19th century) with its Virgin of the Annunciation, where many miracles have been recorded; Crissoscalitissa, with its pilgrimage on the feast of the Assumption; and Mandrachio, dear to sailors.