"Beneath thy compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble, but rescue us from dangers, only pure one, only blessed one." one translation...
"The earliest known prayer to the Theotokos (Greek, Θεοτοκος, meaning 'Bearer of God') is a prayer found on a fragment of papyrus dating back to approximately AD 250. In 1917, the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, acquired a large panel of Egyptian papyrus. The prayer is located on the fragment recorded as reference number Greek Papyrus 470.
The prayer appears to be from a Coptic Christmas liturgy or vespers written in Koine Greek although the fragment in question may be a private copy of the prayer. The prayer is still chanted in the Orthodox Church to this day at the end of nearly every Vespers service during Lent. It is also found in the worship services of the Roman Catholic and Oriental Churches.
According to one commentary - “The term Theotokos — Θεοτοκος — does not mean the same as “Mother of God” in English or the common Latin translation. In English one must translate Theotokos as “Bearer of God.”
Stored at the John Ryland Library, U.K. above.
St Luke is cited in tradition as the first one to present a visual image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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