Concerning the Manner of the Lord's Conception
(OSB Translation & Comments: St. John Damascus)
The angel of the Lord was sent to the holy Virgin, a descendent of David, a house fallen and disgraced. And bearing glad tidings to her, he said, Hail thou highly favored, the Lord is with thee. She was concerned at his word, yet the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God, and shalt bring forth a Son and shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins. Hence it comes that Jesus has the interpretation Savior. When she asked in her perplexity, “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?”, the angel answered, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also, the holy thing who shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. She responded, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to Thy word."
After the assent of the holy Virgin, the Holy Spirit descended on her, according to the word of the Lord which the angel spoke, purifying her, and granting her power to receive the divinity of the Word, and likewise power to bring forth. And then was she overshadowed by the enhypostatic Wisdom and Power of the most high God, the Son of God Who is of like essence with the Father as of Divine seed, and from her holy and most pure blood He formed flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, the first-fruits of our compound nature: not by procreation but by creation through the Holy Spirit.
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