In Byzantium, apart from being understood as the Mother of God, the mother of all the faithful, and the Protectress of Constantinople, Mary was also seen as an ideal model for Byzantine monastics. This latter aspect of Marian devotion has thus far been understudied. Based on liturgical sources and “quasi-canonical” Marian narratives, this talk explores how Byzantine Christians saw ascetical virtues being embodied in the person of the Virgin par excellence.
Damaskinos Olkinuora is a hieromonk from the Monastery of Xenophontos on Mount Athos, Greece, and University Lecturer in the School of Theology at the University of Eastern Finland. He has researched and published widely in the areas of Byzantine hymnography, music, and religious culture.