Fasting and Honoring the Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary’s fast was practiced by the Apostles themselves. When St. Thomas the Apostle returned from his mission to India, he inquired about Virgin Mary. He was informed that she had passed away, and in response, he said “I seek to see where she was buried.” When the Apostles went to Virgin Mary’s grave they did not find the Holy corpse. Then Saint Thomas began recounting to them how he had eye-witnessed Virgin Mary’s blessed body being ascended and raised to the Heavens. The Apostles went fasting for 15 days as of Mishra 1st. till Mishra 15th. Therefore, Virgin Mary’s feast is celebrated on Mishra 16th. Of the Coptic calendar.
Those who deny fasting are the ones who miss its blessings. We do not fast for the Apostles themselves, but we rather ask for their intercession during the fast. The matter of honoring Virgin Mary is controversial for many and has puzzled lots of people. Some took an extreme and said that Virgin Mary was conceived without sin, whereas others took the other extreme and said that she was like a vessel that contained gold; hence when gold is taken the vessel will be valueless. The Coptic Orthodox Church in its biblical orthodox creed exalts Virgin Mary and glorifies her greatly, but she is not exalted as high as being considered divine like those who consider that she was conceived without a sin, or those who ignore her and disregard her intercession.
As for the first group, that is the Catholic Church. The Bible is so clear and evident about this when it quotes that “thus, death has been passed down to all people”; and in that matter no one is ever exempted. The Bible also states that” through one man’s trespass the judgment was passed to all people for the justification of life.” The Archangel stated to Virgin Mary that, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” This does not necessarily means that she was conceived without a sin. Jesus Christ was born from Virgin Mary sacredly without a sin, whereas she was born normally in a human way by her parents Henna and Joachim. It should not be forgotten that she said” My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
The Virgin Mary is chaste, continent, pure, virgin and maiden who had many virtuous and beautiful qualities. We sanctify her and look up to her as an idol and an example to follow. The Virgin Mary’s life was a call for us to lead a holy and virtuous life.