Mother of All the Living Ones

The man called his wife’s name Zoe (Life), because she was the mother of all the living.  (Genesis 3:20)


As we in America honor our mothers today, we remember that it is through women that we come into the world. Women have a unique role to play in the life of the world and are involved in God’s life-giving nature in a way that men cannot be. Even the life-giving incarnation of God, required a woman for our salvation. Males had no direct role in the incarnation itself, except to be in need of it for salvation. So motherhood itself is a necessary part of the salvation of every human being. Males cannot be saved without a woman, which is why all Christians should also honor, Mary, the Theotokos. As St Elizabeth shows in her own praise of Mary as “she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?“ (Luke 1:42-43) Elizabeth was overwhelmed that the Mother of the Lord should visit her.

However unique and great the role of motherhood is in the continuation of the human race and in the salvation of all humans, motherhood is not the only role women play in the life of the church. The ability to give birth is a unique role for women, but not the only role for women in the Church. Obviously the entire history of women monastics shows us that child birth is not essential for the salvation of women. There are many women who are saints in our Church, who were never mothers, nor even tried to be.

Myrrhbearing Women Myrrhbearing Women
Women, including mothers, have the same path to salvation as men: through holiness. There are women Disciples of the Lord such as the Myrrhbearing Women. There are women who are proclaimed Equal to the Apostles (such Photini the Samaritan Woman and Helen the mother of Constanine). There are women who are titled Evangelizers (such as Nina of Georgia but also God chose women to serve as the first Evangelists – the Myrrhbearing Women carried the message to the male Apostles). In the Church calendar of saints there are women martyrs, confessors, ascetics, women prophets, deacons, teachers, rulers and monastics.

So while motherhood is a unique role for women in God’s creation and in the Church, it is not the only role for women. And few women are glorified as saints just for being mothers. The women saints of the Church are generally recognized for all the other roles they played in the life of the Church.

Mothers like all women can know the Lord. They can be saints and disciples because they can be imitators of Christ. Mothers give us life, but they can also be examples of how to love and live for eternal life. Giving birth is a natural thing, which may be why it is not always the way to holiness. We are a pro-life Church, and we honor our mothers because they show the sanctity of life in their pregnancies, in giving birth and in their rearing of children. Mothers reveal a unique relationship between themselves and the infants to whom they are giving life as well as to the life-givingness itself. Mothers are the human element in the birthing process. Mothers can be examples not only to their children, but to all women and men of how to follow Christ (Titus 2:3-4), to be His disciple, to experience His presence every day in the most mundane circumstances, in the most natural way. Jesus in fact says everyone who does the will of God becomes His mother (Mark 3:33-34). The holiness of motherhood lies in doing God’s will. And the children of believing mothers are considered to be holy (1 Corinthians 7:14) based on the mother’s faith.

In giving birth to us, in giving life to us, our mothers make it possible for us to experience God, to be in God’s presence. For this alone, we should thank and honor our mothers.

Fr. Ted's Blog

Fr. Ted Bobosh


See also
A Mother’s Prayer A Mother’s Prayer
Vladimir Krupin
A Mother’s Prayer A Mother’s Prayer
Vladimir Krupin
Fr. Paul, a monk, told me a story that happened to him. He told it as if it was how it all should have been. I was struck by this story, and I will retell it now—I think it will prove amazing not just for me.
Can Women Be Saved Without Childbearing? Can Women Be Saved Without Childbearing?
Archpriest Andrei Ovchinnikov
Can Women Be Saved Without Childbearing? Can Women Be Saved Without Childbearing?
Archpriest Andrei Ovchinnikov
Today I would like to speak to the ladies. I will try to give practical advice on the theme: “woman and children”. I will warn you from the very beginning that it is not for all. I expect criticism and disagreement. But perhaps some will listen to me and try to look at their lives in the light of reflection on the suggested subject.
Saint women of the Orthodox Church and Islam Saint women of the Orthodox Church and Islam
Yuri Maximov
Saint women of the Orthodox Church and Islam Saint women of the Orthodox Church and Islam
Yuri Maximov
In the early 18th century in the Oman Empire in the provincial town of Prusse there lived a beautiful Greek girl called Argery. She was brought up by pious parents and in her youth years she met her love – a kind Greek youth. They got married in the church and their honeymoon was happy. But, their Turkish neighbour was inflamed with lust towards Argery and tried with his sweet words to talk her into committing adultery in the absence of her husband. The pious wife declined his encroachments. Then the embittered Turk slandered her before the judge of Prusse by telling that she had promised to become Moslem. ...
Alan5/20/2018 4:55 am
For some women, children aren't convenient so they get abortions. This is absolutely the work of the devil.
Anthony5/15/2018 9:11 am
Alloha beloveds! Rejoice! This article by the American author Father Theodore is (surprisingly) a marvellous example of how both sexes play an equally important role in the life of mankind but NOTA BENE!!! in their own way and according to God's established order. Men and women complement each other in their respective roles. Unfortunately as with everything, western whitey tries to overturn the God-established creation, and laws of life, trying to blur the lines between male and female, right and wrong, good and evil, "freedom" as enslavement to sin as opposed to true freedom from sin Etcetera. Etcetera. And I say again. Rejoice!
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