Nativity of the Theotokos


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Nativity of the Theotokos

September 8
The Greek word theotokos means "god-bearer," or "mother of God." The feast known as the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos (or simply as the Nativity of the Theotokos) is observed in Orthodox Christian churches on September 8. Western Christian churches celebrate the feast on the same day, but call it the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The feast of Mary's nativity is believed to have originated in the East, probably in Syria or Palestine, some centuries ago. It was already a major celebration in Jerusalem by the end of the fifth century, and by the seventh century it had become established in the Roman liturgy. By the 11th century, the observation of this feast had spread throughout the Christian world.
Mary was declared to be Theotokos as a result of the Council of Ephesus, held in 431. A major item on the Council's agenda was the theological controversy over Mary: Was she the mother of the incarnate Son of God, or had she given birth to a human being who was later united to the Son of God? The Council condemned the latter viewpoint as heretical.
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