The Synaxis of the Mother of God is a national holiday celebrated annually in Greece on December 26. The day is dedicated by the Orthodox Church to the Virgin Mary, who was the mother of Jesus Christ, the central figure of the Christian faith. Mary is called the Mother of God because Jesus is called God by Christians. Thus, Mary is venerated for her role in bringing Jesus into the world to save mankind from sin.
History of Synaxis of the Mother of God
In the Orthodox Church, a synaxis is a gathering to honor a significant figure. In this case, it’s to honor ‘Theotokos,’ a title given to Mary, which means God-Bearer. In the Orthodox Church, the day after every major feast is dedicated to a person who had a role in bringing about the event being celebrated.
The Synaxis of the Mother of God, or as it’s called in Greek, ‘Sinaxis Yperagias Theotokou Marias,’ has origins that can be traced back to the fourth century. Mary, or Virgin Mary, was the mother of Jesus, whom people worship as the Son of God. The records of Mary’s life can be found in the New Testament books of the Christian Bible.
According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary was a woman from Nazareth, a little town in Israel. She was a virgin and engaged to a man called Joseph. While in Nazareth, an angel of God appeared to her and announced that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and she would conceive and bear a son, who would deliver the people of Israel from their sins. The son was to be named Jesus.
Mary became pregnant, even as a virgin. Her fiancé, Joseph, decided to quietly break off the engagement to avoid embarrassing Mary. But before he could do so, an angel of God also appeared to him and explained that the child was conceived of the Holy Spirit and he should go ahead and marry Mary.
At the appointed time, Mary gave birth to Jesus. She remained by her son’s side until his death, witnessing his crucifixion by the Roman authorities. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, she remained a loyal follower of his teachings and stayed in fellowship with Jesus’ other disciples
Synaxis of the Mother of God timeline
Jesus is born in Bethlehem.
Jesus dies and comes back to life after three days.
Stephen is killed, becoming the first Christian martyr.
Christianity is legalized in the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine I.
Synaxis of the Mother of God FAQs
Where was Jesus born?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town in Israel.
Was Jesus’ last name Christ?
Christ means ‘anointed’ or ‘messiah.’ It was not Jesus’ last name but a title that signified his mission on earth. People in Israel during biblical times didn’t have last names but were called by their first name, followed by a reference to their father. For example, Jesus, son of Joseph.
Did Mary have other sons?
Different beliefs abound, with some believing Mary had no other children apart from Jesus. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and John, as well as the books of Acts and First Corinthians, however, mention the names of Jesus’ brothers, namely James, Joses, Simon, and Jude.
How to Observe Synaxis of the Mother of God
Attend a meeting
On this special day, attend a Christmas service and immerse yourself in the music, scripture, and plays. There is much to be learned about the Christian faith, not just as a believer but as a scholar of history and culture.
Learn more about it
Do a little research about Jesus and why he is so venerated in the Christian faith. Learn about Mary, both from the Bible and other sources to give more context to the celebration.
Share your knowledge
Share what you've learned with others. Post something on social media or discuss it with someone you know.
5 Important Feast Days And Facts Of The Virgin Mary
The Motherhood of Jesus is celebrated on this day.
On this day, Mary’s Queenship is celebrated, as Jesus is believed to be the King of Kings.
In the Latin Church, September 8 is dedicated to the birthday of Mary.
Catholics dedicate this day to Mary’s conception because they believe Mary was without sin right from her conception.
There are numerous feasts held to honor the apparitions or appearances of Mary.
Why Synaxis of the Mother of God is Important
Motherhood is important
Motherhood is a key part of this holiday as we learn from Mary and her selfless sacrifice. She loved her son and remained by his side until the very end. This holiday reminds us of the special gift that motherhood is.
Kindness and duty
We also learn from Joseph, who risked social rejection by agreeing to be wed to Mary, despite what conclusions might have been drawn from the circumstances. He also exhibited profound faith in believing and obeying.
Love should be unconditional
This holiday teaches us about love; selfless and unconditional love, from the lives of Mary, Joseph, and ultimately, Jesus, who displayed the highest form of love to mankind. It’s time to show your unconditional love for someone.
Synaxis of the Mother of God dates