Born in Damascus, the future Andrew of Crete remained mute for the first seven years of his life, gaining the power of speech at age seven after the reception of his first Holy Communion. At fifteen he entered the Monastery of Saint Sava. In 681, he was sent, still an archdeacon, to the Sixth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, where he stood out for his zeal and his eloquence. He was later appointed Archbishop of Crete. He died around 740.
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Now Adam offers from us and for us elements unto God, the most worthy fruit of mankind: Mary, in Whom the new Adam is rendered Bread for the restoration of the human race.
Now is opened the great bosom of virginity, and the Church, in the matrimonial manner, places upon it a pure, truly spotless pearl.
Now human worthiness accepts the gift of the first creation and returns to its former condition; the majesty darkened by formless sin, through the conjoining by His Mother by birth "of Him Beauteous by Goodness," man receives beauty in a most excellent and God-seemly visage. And this creating is done truly by the creation, and recreation by theosis, and theosis by a return to the original perfection!
Now a barren one has become a mother beyond expectation, and the Theotokos has given birth without knowing man, and She sanctifies natural birth.
Now the majestic color of the Divine purple is readied and impoverished human nature is clothed in royal worthiness.
Now, according to prophecy, sprouts forth the Offshoot of David, Who, having eternally become the green-sprouting Staff of Aaron, has blossomed forth for us with the Staff of Power: Christ.
Now from Judah and David is descended a Virgin Maiden, rendering of Herself the royal and priestly worthiness of Him Who has taken on the priesthood of Aaron according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:15).
Now, grace purifying the mystical principle of the divine priesthood, weaving symbolically the garment of the Levitical seed, and God dyed the royal purple with the blood of David.
Now the renewal of our nature is begun, and the world responding, assuming a God-seemly form, receives the principle of a second Divine creation. Amen.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Hail, O instrument of our joy, by whom the sentence of our condemnation has been revoked and changed into a judgment of blessing.
Hail, O temple of the glory of God, sacred abode of the King of heaven. You are the reconciliation of God with men.
Hail, O Mother of our joy: in truth you are blessed, since you alone, among all women, have been found worthy to be the Mother of our Creator. All nations call you blessed. O Mary, if I put my trust in you, I will be saved; if I am under your protection I have nothing to fear, because to be your servant is to have the invincible weapons of salvation that God grants only to those He wants to save.
O Mother of mercy, appease your Son: when you were on earth you occupied only a small part of it, but today that you are raised to the highest heavens, the whole world considers you as the common mercy seat of all nations.
We therefore beg you, O Blessed Virgin, to grant us the help of your prayers with God; prayers which have for us more value and worth than all the treasures of the earth; prayers which make God propitious to our sins, and obtain for us a great abundance of graces to receive the forgiveness of these same sins and to practice virtue; prayers which arrest our enemies, confuse their designs, and triumph over their efforts. Amen.