Syria has always enjoyed a rich lyrical tradition dedicated to singing the praises of Mary. The Church of Antioch rendered a special cult to the Mother of God even before the Council of Ephesus: the events that have marked the Nestorian crisis bear witness to the great extent to which belief in Mary’s Divine Motherhood was diffused among the faithful and rooted in their hearts.
Prayer texts are rich in a theology centered on the Divine Motherhood. Their poetry is simple and characterized by a penetrating tenderness.
Among the great Marian hymnists besides Ephrem the Syrian is numbered James of Sarug (451-521). The Syrian-Maronite Liturgy borrows heavily from his lyrical treasures.
~ By Rev. Virgilio Noe
BLESSED are you, O Mary,
and blessed is your holy soul,
for your beatitude
surpasses that of all the Blessed.
Blessed are you who have borne, embraced,
and caressed as a baby
the One Who upholds the ages
with His secret word.
Blessed are you, from whom the Savior
appeared on this exile earth,
subjugating the seducer
and bringing peace to the world.
Blessed are you, whose pure mouth touched
the lips of the One Whom the seraphim
do not dare to look upon in His splendor.
Blessed are you, who have nourished
with your pure milk
the source from Whom the living obtain life
Blessed are you, because the whole universe
resounds with your memory,
and the Angels and human beings celebrate
your feast. . .
Daughter of the poor,
she became the Mother of the King of kings.
She gave to the poor world
the riches that can make it live.
She is the bark laden with the goodness
and the treasures of the Father,
Who sent His riches once again
into our empty home. . .
~ A poem by James of Sarug
Wishing you all a very blessed Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!