"Truly,thou art blessed among women, for thou hast changed Eve's curse into a blessing; and Adam, who hitherto lay under a curse, has been blessed because of thee.
TRULY, thou are blessed among women, for through thee the Father's blessing has shone forth on mankind, setting them free of their ancient curse.
TRULY, thou are blessed among women, for through thee thy forebears have found salvation. For thou wert to give birth to the Savior who was to win them salvation.
TRULY, thou are blessed among women, for without seed thou hast borne, as thy fruit, Him who bestows blessings on the whole world and redeems it from that curse that made it sprout horns.
TRULY, thou are blessed among women, for, though just a woman by nature, thou wilt become, in reality, the Mother of God. If He whom thou art to bear is truly God made flesh, then rightly do we call thee, Mother of God, for thou hast truly given birth to God. Amen."
-Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem
Blest Guardian of all virgin souls,
Portal of bliss to man forgiven,
Pure Mother of Almighty God,
Thou hope of earth and joy of heaven!
Fair lily found among the thorns,
Most beauteous dove with wings of gold,
Rod from whose tender root upsprang
That healing Flower so long foretold.
Thou tower against the dragon-foe,
Thou star to storm-tossed voyagers dear;
Our course lies o'er a treacherous deep,
Thine be the light by which we steer.
Scatter the mists that round us hang;
Keep far the fatal shoals away;
And while through darkling waves we sweep,
Open a path to light and day.
O Jesu, born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to Thee;
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.
-Hymn of vespers.
Br. Justin takes his vows tonight!