The Virgin St Mary in the Hymns of St Severus of Antioch By Father Peter Farrington*

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Library | Comments Off on The Virgin St Mary in the Hymns of St Severus of Antioch By Father Peter Farrington*

The Virgin Mary plays a central role in the Christology of the Oriental Orthodox communion, standing as she does for the integrity and reality of the humanity of the incarnate Word. She is the subject of a sustained theological reflection on the part of a great many Fathers, even during the period of the Christological controversy. These writings clearly show her to be more than an incidental figure in the description of a truly Orthodox Christology. St Jacob of Serug is just one example of such reflection, writing homilies in a metrical form, he says of the Virgin,


Second heaven, in whose womb the Lord of Heaven dwelt,
and shone forth from her to expel darkness from the land.

Blessed of women, by whom the curse of the land was eradicated,
and the sentence henceforth has come to an end.

Second Eve who generated life among mortals…
It is easier to depict the sun with its light and heat, than to tell the story of Mary in its splendour.[1]

This poetic response to a theological theme is not unique in the East; indeed St Jacob was building upon a tradition of theological poetry that had already found its greatest exponent in St Ephrem of the fourth century. But in the West, such elevated descriptions tended to be interpreted in an absolute sense, and could lead to theological error.

The hymns of St Severus of Antioch are an interesting source of further insight into the process of Christological reflection on the person of the Virgin Mary within the Oriental Orthodox tradition. St Severus is perhaps best known for his extensive theological treatises and it might seem unusual that such a person, engaged in apologetics and polemics for so much of his life, should be able to turn his mind to the creative effort required in composing hymns. In fact most of the faithful of his own lifetime, and especially those who benefited directly from his ministry would have known him as a preacher, a hymn writer, and a liturgist rather than through contact with his theological works. Even while he was Patriarch of Antioch between 512 AD and 518 AD his homilies were being transcribed and translated from Greek into Syriac, and after his exile he continued his pastoral ministry through a voluminous correspondence.

St Severus’ hymns are a useful means of understanding how he wished his flock to think of the Virgin Mary. If his treatises were for a more advanced and restricted audience, then his hymns were for a popular one. We can study the hymns he wrote about the Virgin, and those which refer to her, and will be able to learn how he wished to educate the ordinary faithful to reverence and think of the Virgin in a proper and Orthodox manner. The method employed by this study will be to consider each of those hymns which refer to the Virgin in some sense, and determine how St Severus wishes to use each reference.

The hymns of St Severus have been translated into English in volumes 6 and 7 of the Patrologia Orientalis by E.W. Brooks[2]. These hymns were collected by Paul, bishop of Edessa, who fled from the East on the Persian invasion and found refuge in Cyprus. It may be considered to represent an edition of the Severan hymns from the early seventh century. The text is that of James, bishop of Edessa in 675 AD, who revised this earlier collection.

There are 366 hymns in the collection as published by Brooks. The majority of these hymns are ascribed to St Severus, though some others have a different composer, not least those hymns in commemoration of St Severus himself. There are hymns for almost every occasion; morning and evening, the commemoration of various saints and martyrs, hymns for times of earthquake and war. Many of the hymns are more explicitly theological, and these include the hymns concerned with the various aspects of the incarnation, and those composed in honour of the Virgin Mary.

There are six hymns in the collection which are categorised by the ancient transcribers as Hymns on the Holy God-bearer, while there are also 15 hymns on the nativity and incarnation of our Lord which also have some reference to the Virgin Mary. Some other hymns have occasional references, which will also be examined. Hymn I has the title, ‘The power that is in his works he has shown unto his people. Psalm 111:6’. This first hymn, deeply Christological, introduces the Virgin to us. Yet the hymn does not isolate the Christological mystery from the wider context of Scripture, rather the author connects his reflection on the incarnation to the prophetic elements of the Psalms. It will not be necessary to quote each hymn in turn, but this first one can be shown to illustrate several features of many of these hymns which refer to the Virgin:

When the new covenant was about to begin, it was preceded by wonders which signified the joy that was to happen to the World. For by a miracle the affliction of barrenness was removed, and trembling age was made young, and a plant sprang up from an unfruitful field; in order that this might be believed by all men, that a virgin also should conceive and bear without seed God the Word, who was to become incarnate from her, and to become a babe for our salvation in the greatness of his mercy and of his grace toward us.[3] 

In the first place we should note that the hymn is Christological rather than Mariological. That is, the references to the Virgin fit into a Christological argument, rather than references to Christ fitting into a hymn concerned with honouring the Virgin. Secondly the Virgin is placed in a Soteriological context, that is, the hymn is about the salvation of mankind and God’s gracious mercy towards men. It is with these concepts in mind that the Virgin is introduced, and in this hymn she is not even named. Nevertheless the Virgin is central to the message of the hymn. It is by the virgin conception and birth of God the Word that the new covenant which God chooses to make with men is guaranteed. It is from the Virgin that the Word becomes incarnate, and the Word incarnate is truly the babe which the virgin bears. What are the wonders which precede this miracle? They are surely references to the conception and birth of John the Baptist of elderly parents who had borne the burden of infertility and barrenness into their old age. The virgin is therefore rooted in a theological and biblical context. She is not venerated and honoured for her own sake, as we would describe the worship of God himself. Rather she is placed in a particular location within the history of salvation, standing at the very beginning of God’s new covenant with man, having a part to play with Joachim, Anna and John the Baptist. Indeed this hymn shows us that even in the miraculous manner of his conception John is preparing the way for the reception of a greater miracle and a greater grace which was to come about through the virgin.

Hymn II continues in a comparable manner and introduces the Virgin Mary in a theological context. It says,

What mind or speech or hearing is there that is equal to the ineffable sea of mercifulness? The Only one, who before all the ages was born in divine fashion and without a body from the Only one, the Word of the Father, he was born alone from a mother alone in flesh and in bodily fashion; who by his birth did not destroy this mother’s virginity and so showed her to be the God-bearer, since neither was he himself changed when he willed it and became man. « the depth of the riches and of the wisdom of God! » The womb of a woman which was condemned to bear children in pains, this became a spring of immortality; which conceived and bore Emmanuel without seed, and by its incorruptible delivery loosened the bond of our race : whom let us all praise, and let us say, incomprehensible Lord of all, praise to thee![4] 

There are many similarities between these first and second hymns. In both we see that the mercy of God is referred to. Then we see that the Word of God having become incarnate is mentioned. Only after this context is created do we find the Virgin introduced as the means by which the mercy of God, in the person of the Word, is brought into the world. In Hymn I there was reference to a virgin, now we find the additional terms, mother and God-bearer. Yet these terms do not stand alone, they are used to balance the theological statements made about Christ himself. Just as He was born in a divine fashion from the Father alone, so he is now born in a bodily fashion from a mother alone. Just as he remains the Word of the Father and God even though having willed to become man, so the mother remains virgin as she was before the birth, as a sign that the babe she bears in her arms is truly God, and that she is truly God-bearer. Nevertheless this hymn is clearly Christological, even though it commemorates the virgin mother and God-bearer. Though we are reminded that the womb which had been cursed at the Fall, is now a spring of immortality, we are led to praise the one who was born and not the one who bore him.Perhaps we might think that this is the manner in which the hymns of St Severus will proceed. Richly theological, yet less extravagant in their poetic praises of the Virgin than those of other Eastern writers. But Hymn III introduces further elements which begin to direct our thoughts more personally towards the role and person of the Virgin Mary:

O! The wonderful and divine pangs of the God-bearer and Virgin Mary, through which conception and virginity were brought together, and the couch of copulation did not precede the marvellous birth, nor yet did the birth break the stamps and seals of virginity. He who was born of the Father in a divine manner and without passion, the same was also born of the Virgin in a fleshly manner without passion, being one out of two, Godhead and manhood. Him the Magi also worship; and by means of offerings they silently proclaimed him to be God : for they offered him frankincense as a god; and gold as a king; and myrrh, which is a symbol of the life-giving mortality which on our behalf he took upon him and endured of his own will, who is the only merciful one.[5] 

In this hymn we are surely beginning to consider the personal worth of the Virgin Mary. Though this is clearly still a Christological hymn we do not find the introduction of the thought of the mercy of God until the end of the hymn, rather it begins with a reflection on the Virgin herself, then leads us to Christ, and then to the thought of the divine mercifulness which brought about the incarnation. We begin the hymn with mention of the wonderful and divine pangs of the God-bearer and Virgin Mary. For the first time she is named, and this is fitting because we are called to honour the manner by which she submitted to the process of conception, gestation and birth of the Word incarnate. We learn that in some sense she shares in the divine activity, and that just as the Word was begotten of the Father without passion, so the Virgin Mary participates without passion in the Word’s passionless birth according to the flesh. Whereas the first and second hymns would lead us to think about a virgin and a mother, now we are clearly speaking of one particular virgin and mother, the Virgin Mary, and turning from the general to the particular we begin to honour her and that which God has performed for our salvation in and by her.

Hymn IV speaks of the virgin mother but does not add to what has been said. Indeed the hymn is more Christological in the style of the first two hymns. Hymn V, in a beautiful manner, refers to the shepherds coming to Bethlehem, the ‘House of Bread’ as the present shepherds of the Church come seeking bread from heaven at the altar. The Virgin is referred to in this hymn in the creedal statement, ‘incarnate without variation of the Holy Spirit and of the God-bearer Mary’. Hymn VI speaks of the incarnation from the Holy Spirit and the God-bearer as showing that it was a true incarnation. None of these hymns adopt a more personal view of the Virgin Mary.But hymn VII again speaks more fully of the role of the Virgin saying,

Isaiah, when he learned beforehand the mystery of the seedless birth from the God-bearer Mary, fell into astonishment and great wonder, and cried with a loud voice and said, « Behold! A virgin shall conceive and bear » : and, when he had considered him that was born and known that he is the eternal Son of the Father, and that the same became incarnate without variation as a babe in his mercy, the child that is born to us now and not to him, proclaimed and said in prophecy, « A child hath been born unto us, a son hath also been given unto us », whom also his very name showed to be a messenger of a great purpose and a wonderful counsellor and mighty God. How then is she not the God-bearer, who bare the mighty God, ye unbelievers, uninstructed, and foolish? whom also acknowledge with us, worshipping and saying, Praise to thee![6] 

This hymn is important because it reminds us that the events of the birth of the Word of God from the Virgin Mary were the subject of prophecy, and had been the great hope for which the people of Israel had been looking forward over many centuries. When Isaiah cries out with ‘astonishment and great wonder’, we should surely cry out with him in similar terms. Not only because a virgin has conceived and borne a child, but because the child who has been born of the Virgin is the ‘mighty God’. St Severus leads those who sing this hymn and hear this hymn being sung to make the theological connection, the one whom she bore is truly God therefore we must acknowledge her as the God-bearer. Does this hymn call us to sing ‘Praise to thee’ to God or to the Virgin? It would seem from the ending of other hymns, such as Hymn II, that the phrase is addressed to God, the one whom we must acknowledge that the Virgin bore. This clearly indicates the Christological context of all Orthodox statements about the Virgin Mary. If we acknowledge that God is the one born of the Virgin Mary then we acknowledge that she is the God-bearer, and if we acknowledge her as God-bearer then we must affirm that the one she bore is God. Those who are foolish are those who deny that the Virgin is the God-bearer and therefore deny that the one she bore is God.Hymn VIII returns to the theme of the visit of the Magi, and refers to both the virgin birth, and continuing virginity, as a confirmation of the divine miracle. It has a passage which speaks of the babe being enclosed in his mother’s arms, which is surely a counter-reference to the statement of Nestorius that he would never accept that God was a babe.

Hymn IX speaks of ‘Mary, the Virgin and God-bearer’, and introduces the events of the Annunciation, saying,

Gabriel announced to the Virgin when he said, a Hail to thee, thou that art highly favoured! The Lord is with thee, blessed among women.[7] 

Surely this points to another interesting aspect of St Severus’ hymns. They are certainly rooted in his outstanding theological reflection on the incarnation, but they are also rooted in the Scriptures, and his reflection begins with the text of Scripture and is not independent of it. Thus we have found the hymns to contain prophecies, psalms, and narrative from the Gospels. In this case the words of the Annunciation become part of the hymns of the people of God, and with the angel Gabriel the Orthodox people of Antioch are taught to sing, Hail to thee! Indeed the honouring of the person of the Virgin Mary finds authoritative commendation in these words. Hymn X again uses the fact that the babe born of the Virgin Mary was truly wrapped in swaddling clothes as proof of the reality of the incarnation. A phantom Christ is not held by his mother, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid down to sleep. Hymn XI speaks in passing of the conception in the womb of Mary the Virgin God-bearer. While in Hymns XII and XIII the Virgin Mary is not mentioned. But in Hymn XIV we read,

Let those who are intoxicated with the dreamlike error of the phantasy be ashamed before the true conception of the holy Virgin and God-bearer, who carries in her womb the heavenly Word and Son, who became incarnate from her without variation, her to whom Elizabeth cried and said, « Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit that is in thy womb » : for assuredly the quickening fruit sprouted and sprang from the very essence of the tree : and therefore the miracle also is one befitting God, that the true birth, which is no phantasmal passing through, did not loosen or destroy the closed seals of virginity; and by his true salvation he calls us to incorruption, according to the riches of his great mercy.[8] 

This hymn is a clear refutation of the Eutychian or Synousiast description of the incarnation in which the humanity of Christ was not of the same substance as the Virgin Mary, and in which the flesh of Christ passed through the Virgin rather than being taken from her by the action of the Holy Spirit. Once again St Severus uses the Virgin Mary as the guarantor of the reality of the incarnation. By prophetic inspiration Elizabeth blesses the fruit in the womb of Mary her kinswomen, and St Severus concludes that if the flesh of Christ is fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary then he must have the same fleshly nature as the one in whose womb he chose to become flesh, just as the fruit of a tree has the same nature as the tree itself. The hymn teaches that it is only by a true birth that we might receive a true salvation. After these first hymns the references to the Virgin Mary become rather more scattered and functional, in the sense that when speaking of the incarnation St Severus will often wish to speak in terms of ‘the birth in the flesh of the Virgin Mary’, which seems to contain three key Christological ideas. Firstly, that Christ was truly born, and did not seek to escape birth as something unworthy of God. Secondly, that he truly took flesh and did not simply appear to be human or adopt human attributes. And thirdly, that the flesh he truly took was the same flesh as of the Virgin Mary, and was therefore consubstantial with us.

If we turn to Hymn XC we will discover a hymn which was composed to be sung as the candidates for baptism approached the baptistery at the Paschal dawn. There is a passage in this hymn which says,

Come let us set forth and go to the mysterious cleansing fountain of Jordan, and in faith worship the new spiritual mother, who from her womb gave birth to the holy people of the Christians, and, marvelling at the fruitfulness of the God-bearer, let us cry with a voice of wonder with the great among prophets Isaiah and say, who hath heard such a thing? or who hath seen it so? for the earth hath travailed in one day, and hath borne a people, because Zion hath travailed and hath borne her children.[9] 

It seems that in this hymn St Severus chooses to combine, and even confuse, several applications of the words of the hymn. On one level we quite clearly bring to our mind the thought of the Virgin Mary, the God-bearer, and it seems that we are intended to apply to her the thought of being a ‘spiritual mother’, who has given birth in a sense to the ‘holy people of the Christians’. Yet at another level the mother is also clearly the Church. Are we required to make a firm and singular application of the hymn. I think not. Rather it would appear that we are intended to apply the hymn to both the Virgin Mary and to the Church, and to see in both a certain maternal relationship to all Christians. This hymn goes beyond any other considered so far and seems to definitely encourage a worship or veneration of the Virgin Mary, as much as a honouring of the Church. It seems reasonable to conclude that in some sense St Severus is conflating the identity of the Church as spiritual mother with the God-bearer, the Virgin Mary. Hymn XCVIII speaks clearly of the holy Church as this barren woman who had found fruitfulness. Nevertheless Hymn XC certainly seems to allow for a wider interpretation.

Hymn CXVII begins a series of hymns on the God-bearer. This hymn says,

While celebrating the memory of the Resurrection of our Saviour, I find that the incorruptible root of this is the Virgin, the God-bearer. For, when he that is not reckoned in genealogies became incarnate from her without the seed of a man, he underwent and took upon himself a birth in time and of his own will became son to Abraham and to David; who is the Son and Word of the heavenly Father, he that was without mother in the beginning as God, and the same again a man without father from Mary. Her let us all entreat, her that is the gate of heaven, her that gave birth without doubt and caused the great Sun of Righteousness to shine upon all creatures, and after the birth remained sealed by a God-befitting miracle. The Virgin, the mother and bondwoman of the Saviour of all, let us pray to supplicate and entreat for us.[10] 

This is a most interesting hymn because it goes far beyond the theological appreciation of the role of the Virgin Mary which has been found in earlier hymns, and allows a much more personal relationship with the Virgin to be described and encouraged. The first half of the hymn contains theological material which is similar to many of the other hymns, but the second half urges the hearers of the hymn to entreat Mary, it describes her as the gate of heaven and encourages us to pray for her supplications. It might well have seemed that St Severus would limit his references to the Virgin Mary to descriptive passages concerned with an accurate explanation of his Orthodox Christology, But now he goes much further and describes the necessity for his Orthodox flock to turn to the Virgin Mary as an intercession and seek her supplications with diligence. Yet this new description of the role of the Virgin Mary is still located in a strictly theological context. We do not turn to her because of who she is in herself, but because of who she is in relation to the Word who became incarnate of her. She is the root of the resurrection and the gate of heaven, not because of her own merit or authority but because by her obedience she made possible, through co-operation and participation, all that Christ achieved. The next hymn, CXVIII, continues in the same rather more exalted vein. It says,

A great wonder! she who borrowed the rib of Adam, the beginning of our creation, and from it was built and fashioned, woman, gave back and repaid the whole of human creation to the Word and Maker of all; and, having become incarnate and been born from her without variation, he was called and named Emmanuel in that he that cannot be approached came among us by his grace. Her as the God-bearer let us beg and entreat to pray for us, her that is honoured by all the saints; by the fathers, because she received the glorious blessing that was promised to them; by the prophets, because she bore him of whom they prophesied beforehand in many portions and in many ways; and by the apostles because she bore him who is proclaimed by them; and by the martyrs, because she bore the master of their contests and the giver of the crown and the cause of the contests : whom we also praise, who for the sake of the salvation and life of our race carried out and performed everything with wisdom.[11] 

This hymn describes the Virgin Mary by comparison with Eve, and suggests rather beautifully that just as the woman received a rib from Adam, the first man, so Mary gives back all of creation to the Word, by implication a second Adam. This theological context then leads us to ask the God-bearer to pray and entreat for us. Yet it is because she is the God-bearer and in a personal relationship with the Word that we turn to her, not for her own sake as if independently of the Word. St Severus reminds us that the Virgin Mary is honoured by all, and names the fathers, the prophets, the apostles and the martyrs, and by these examples leads his congregation to join in honouring the Virgin themselves and seeking her intercession on their behalf.In Hymn XCIX the Virgin Mary is compared to the Tent of Witness, and the Holy of Holies, which held the Ark of the Covenant. This hymn is of interest because it is the first to address the Virgin directly, saying,

And so in thee we worship God, who became incarnate from thee truly without variation : whom pray to deliver us for whom he became man, as he is merciful.[12] 

Again it is clear that the Mariology of St Severus is rooted in his Christology. We worship God, and we consider the Virgin Mary in relation to God who was manifest in her and through her. Even when we turn to the Virgin to seek her intercession it is because we know that she will turn to the Word incarnate, her Lord and her son, and ask him to deliver us. If there is deliverance in prayer to the Virgin Mary it is always because she is in a relation of faithful intercessor before God, not because she has power and authority to answer prayer in herself.In Hymn CXX we find that the whole hymn is addressed to the Virgin. It is worth quoting this hymn in full, not least because it begins to approach the poetic description of the Virgin found in other writers.

When a man looks toward thee, God-bearer and Virgin, and at the divine mystery which was by a miracle wrought in thee, he is silent because of the ineffability, and wondering is stirred to utter praise, because of the greatness of him who helped us so much. The Word of God himself, who came down upon the high mountain of Sinai to lay down the law for the people, and hid that peak with smoke and gloom and with darkness and mist, and by the flashing of terrible mighty lightning and by the sound of trumpets caused those who were standing round to marvel, and taught them through such fears and terrors, came down upon thee, Mary, the rational mountain, peacefully and gently and mercifully; in that he blessed this and hallowed it by the descent of the Holy Spirit, and so became incarnate of her without variation, in flesh which is of our nature, endowed with a living, rational, intelligent soul, and became perfectly man, while he remained what he is, God; in order to do away the offence of our father Adam, and deliver and restore the lost one, according to the riches of his great mercy.[13] 

This hymn suggests that it is appropriate to reflect on the Virgin Mary and the mystery of the incarnation. She is a suitable object of our consideration and thinking of her leads us to a silent appreciation of the greatness of the mercy of God. The Virgin is called the rational mountain, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon her at the Annunciation is thereby compared with the descent of God upon Mount Sinai, but this theological explanation is directed at the Virgin herself. The hymn is not simply about the Virgin, but by addressing her personally in such theological terms we learn to unite our personal spirituality with an accurate theology. In Hymn CXXI we find a similar opening sentence which expresses the sense of turning our thoughts towards the Virgin Mary, reflecting on a theological theme, and then offering some expression of honour and veneration to her. In the case of this hymn the theological reflection is the opposition of evil which the Word faced in becoming incarnate, and his bearing all things even separation from God, so that through his resurrection he might bring us to sit in glory with him. St Severus leads us to address the Virgin Mary in these terms,

We repeat to thee, holy mother who knewest not copulation, the expressions of the patriarch Jacob, This is the place of God; and this is the gate of heaven…. And therefore, also when we offer up our prayers in faith through thee to the Lord who shone forth from thee, we receive from him forgiveness of sins and the riches of his great mercy.[14] 

Once more there is a reference to the Old Testament image of the ‘gate of heaven’. Yet there is no sense that titles are being heaped up upon the Virgin Mary in an unsupportable manner. This hymn is both theologically robust in its own right, but is built upon a foundation of accurate and careful theological reflection in all of the preceding hymns. This holy mother addressed in hymns is the mother of the Word incarnate, and finds her theological locus in relation to the Word and not independently. This hymn also reinforces the appropriateness of the practice of addressing our intercessions to Christ through the Virgin. Indeed such prayer is a means of constantly reflecting on the relationship between the Virgin and the Word incarnate and far from elevating her beyond what is appropriate such reflection teaches us to honour her for her part in the economy of salvation.

The final hymn addressed to the Virgin is Hymn CXXII. It ends with the phrase,

…first-born from among the dead..whom we beg and pray to keep us in incorruption.[15]

This essentially describes the relation between the Virgin and the Word incarnate. It is because of the Word that we venerate the Virgin, and we turn to her intercession because she is the mother of the Word incarnate. Yet the substance of her intercession is always directed towards her son, who is her Lord and Saviour as much as ours. We ask her to pray for us, not to save us in her own right.

What has this brief review of the Mariological content of St Severus’ hymns revealed to us? Surely we must conclude that he demanded an accurate theology of the faithful Orthodox Christians in his care. St Severus never seems to allow the poetic touches of his hymns to diminish the strict application of his Cyrilline theology to the task of composing hymns. Secondly we may conclude that in the first place the Virgin Mary finds her importance within the description of this same theology. In the first hymns in the collection the Virgin Mary is referred to only in rather general terms in relation to the incarnation. Even in the later hymns in the collection she is always placed in a theological context rather than simply a poetic or hagiographic one. Finally, as a more personal tone is adopted in the hymns addressed directly to the Virgin we see that St Severus shares the same Orthodox Mariology which is common to all Orthodox traditions. He is not a proto-Protestant restricting the Virgin to an historical role as the mother of Christ, rather he assumes and encourages a personal relationship of devotion with the Virgin who intercedes for us before the Word incarnate. She is our intercessor, and mother, the gate of heaven and the rational mountain, because of the one she bore, being lifted beyond her own bare humanity by being in relation to the Word. While she also guarantees the reality of the incarnation, offering her own humanity to God, who receives it, and unites himself to it, so that we might be raised up anew with the Word incarnate in his resurrection. These hymns are demanding of those who sing them and hear them. There are no easy emotional praises of Mary, rather a collection of detailed theological and scriptural reflections set in the form of hymns.

[1] Hansbury, M. tr. (1998). On the Mother of God, Jacob Serug. New York, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.

[2] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI and VII. Paris.

[3] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p45-46 Paris.

[4] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p46-47 Paris.

[5] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p47 Paris.

[6] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p50 Paris.

[7] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p52 Paris

[8] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p56-57 Paris

[9] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p131 Paris

[10] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p157 Paris

[11] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p157-158 Paris

[12] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p159 Paris

[13] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p160 Paris

[14] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p162 Paris

[15] Brooks, E.W. (1911) The Hymns of Severus and Others, Patrologia Orientalis, Vol VI. p163 Paris

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The Virgin St Mary   in the Hymns

of   St Severus of Antioch