Jul 092013
Ancient liturgical prayer

Earliest Christians Prayer to Mary

By 250 A.D. Christian Prayer to Mary was widespread, rising to the level of liturgical prayer. In this beautiful Coptic papyrus, dated circa 250 A.D., is inscribed the following prayer:

Under thy compassion we take refuge, Theotokos [Birthgiver-of-God]; do not disregard our prayers in the midst of tribulation, but deliver us from danger, O Only Pure, Only Blessed One.

By itself it proves, on many levels, the errors of protestant and break-away Christians.

Mary, Genetrix

Being descended from the Jews requires a Jewish mother, which of course Mary was. As Jesus began His Church, focused and based on the sacrifice of His flesh and blood, the fact that Mary was THE human provider of that Holy flesh and blood means that Christian’s relationship to the Eucharist is very much about the heritage of Mary.

In John chapter 6 Jesus makes it very clear. “My flesh is true food, my blood is true drink… unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have NO LIFE in you.” Therefore, as taught by Our Lord Himself, our true life in Christ comes from union with Him in the Eucharist.


The term genetrix as applied to Blessed Mary is usually translated ‘mother’ which is a true term, but one that has been ignored, debased and discarded by many Christians. However, it is important to note that the word also means ‘ancestress’, Mary is the GENERATIONAL ANCESTOR of everyone who claims to be Christian and seeks out the Body and Blood of her Son Jesus Christ. It is through participating in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ that one is adopted into the family of God, and for those, Mary is OUR mother in a very tangible and REAL way.

Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.

Mary Theotokos

For the ONLY time in history, Mary was chosen by God to become His real and true mother on earth. Just as the Holy Ghost hovered over creation, just as the Shekinah glory (Jesus) descended on the Ark of the (first) Covenant, so too he hovered over the Blessed and chosen Virgin so that He could be incarnated as a MAN. Therefore Mary became known as Theotokos, God-bearer, just as the Ark of the Covenant had been, but in a HUMAN incarnation.

As we see from this ancient and precious text, from the earliest Christian Church Mary was beloved by all Christians for her unique vocation, and along with the Holy Bread, bears God Himself to us wherever she goes.

Protestant criticism of the dogma at Ephesus 451 as an invention of a power-grabbing power hungry Church is clearly proven false by this fragment. Christian’s reverence for Mary is one of the earliest marks of Christ’s Church, widespread in understanding among the people of God, acknowledged and clarified in the early Church council. Christian prayer has included prayer to Mary since the earliest days.

Mother of the Eucharist

Christians receive their Holiness and life through the body and blood of Christ, what all true Christians call the Eucharist. It is the substance and doorway to the salvation of God, and being the true flesh and blood of Jesus, it is also therefore in a generational way the flesh and blood of Mary. Mary is the mother of the Eucharist as much as she is the mother of Jesus. Those who are consuming that precious life-giving gift from God are also, therefore, children of Mary, our mother in Christ.

Mary mothers us on our life of conversion and fullness in Christ, in our salvation. Christian prayer to Mary invokes her attention and assistance.

The Apostles recognized the need, like newborns, for disciples to grow into the fullness of their Christianity.

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation.

Spiritual Childhood

Mothering by Mary assists us to learn to apply sanctity to all the flaws and sins of our spiritual childhood. Unformed children cannot address the responsible administration of the Word, which is the Justice of God. As Mary mothered Jesus, so all Christians are in need of her mothering to mature Christian lives.

Hebrews 5:13 For every one that is a partaker of milk, is unskillful in the word of justice: for he is a little child.

We must overcome our carnal, sinful nature before we are ready for the more important things of Christ. Responsiveness to the mothering of Holy Mary helps us to overcome our sinful nature, to ignore what Mary has to teach us leaves us immature. Until we do, we are not fit to handle the Word of God or guide the church in any way.

1 Corinthians 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal.

Woman of the Apocalypse

The Blessed Mother Mary gives birth to the purified Church in great tribulations.

Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, 2
And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.

The earliest Christians understood Mary’s role during the apocalypse coming upon the world. This early and very beautiful prayer invokes her compassion on we, her children, during the tribulations befalling us all. Perhaps adding these prayers to Mary’s Holy Rosary we can join with the ancient supplications of the earliest saints and Christians!

Under thy compassion we take refuge, Theotokos; do not disregard our prayers in the midst of tribulation, but deliver us from danger, O Only Pure, Only Blessed One.

Theotokos Papyrus

Sub Tuum Praesidium

Article Name
250 A.D. Christian Prayer to Mary
Did early Christians actually pray to Mary? The answer is YES. By the year 250 A.D. prayer to Mary, Theotokos, Mother of God was so important that it was written on codices as part of the official prayers of the Christian Church.
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