Edited by Stelios Koukos

This truly life-bearing spring once raised a dead man. This amazing miracle happened in this way: There was once a man from Thessaly who died, on a boat ,while making a trip to Constantinople and to the Life-Receiving Spring in particular.

Before he died, however, and while he was breathing his last, he told the sailors on board to get him to the church of the Spring whatever happened, even if he were dead. Then they were to throw three buckets of water from the Spring over him, before they buried him. This they did. The sailors took his corpse to the church and, after they’d thrown blessed water from the Spring over him, he arose, as he’d said.

A good few years later, a huge earthquake occurred while the church was full. The building was  in danger of collapsing at any moment but then the Mother of God appeared, visible to all eyes, and held it up until all of those inside were able to evacuate it.

Adapted from the Synaxari for the feast.

After years of trying, I’m unable to come up with a compelling or satisfactory reason why ‘Life-Receiving Spring’ should be translated into English as ‘Life-Giving’. In both the original Greek and in the Slavonic translation, it’s clear that the attribute of the Mother of God is ‘life-receiving’, as can also be seen from the icons of the feast. Theologically, it’s inadmissible to say that our Lady ‘gives life’. Only God can do so. And an exhaustive search of the hymns for Vespers and Matins for the feast reveals nothing that suggests that the Mother of God gives life. Of course, if one equates the waters of the spring with our Lady and says that they ‘give life’, as in the example provided here, then, at a stretch, it might be permissible to alter the name. But the fact remains: it would be an alteration of the words used in the original Greek and the Slavonic. [WJL]

Source: pemptousia.com


Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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