Mary, the most holy and blessed virgin, was chosen by God as foretold through the prophets of the Old Testament, to give birth to Christ. As Orthodox bishops eventually decided at the 3rd Ecumenical Council in AD 431, the Virgin Mary held God himself in her womb. She would thereafter be called Theotokos, meaning "God-bearer," and would be praised for her essential role in the mystery of the Incarnation.
Popular veneration of the Virgin began in the 5th century and grew through the course of the 6th. As a result, the twelve translated sermons in this volume on the Mother of our Lord, are the work of five preachers, John of Damascus, Germanos of Constantinople, Andrew of Crete, John of Euboia, and Kosmas Vestitor. These particular homilies were produced in the 8th century, and come from Constantinople, Jerusalem, Crete, and other outlying provinces on the mainland of Greece and Syria.
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