I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.
This scrap of papyrus, dated to 250 AD, bears the earliest prayer yet discovered to the Virgin Mary . It is a prayer still used in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is one of the texts considered in my 2007 book, “The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts.”
The text is:
“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.”