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Conception of the Theotokos

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The '''Conception of the [[Theotokos]]''' by Saint [[Anna]] is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on [[December 9]].
St . Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was the youngest daughter of the priest Nathan from Bethlehem, descended from the tribe of Levi. She married St . [[Joachim and Anna|Joachim]], who was a native of Galilee. For a long time many years, St . Anna was childlessand the couple suffered much reproach for her barrenness. When they were in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, the High Priest, Issachar, but after twenty yearsupbraided Joachim, through the "You are not worthy to offer sacrifice with those childless hands." Both spouses gave themselves to fervent prayer of both spouses, an and the [[angelArchangel Gabriel]] of the Lord announced to them separately that they would be the parents of a daughter, who would bring blessings to the whole human race.
The Orthodox Church does not accept the teaching of the [[Immaculate Conception]], but has also always believed that the Virgin Mary was, from her conception, filled with every Grace of the Holy Spirit in view of her calling as the Mother of Christ our God.
The Church also celebrates other [[saint]]s who were sanctified in the womb of their mothers. St [[John the Baptist]] is one example, and ; St [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas the Wonderworker]] is another.
The feast is not a perfect exactly nine months before the feast of the [[Nativity of the Theotokos]] ( [[September 8]]) as it is in the West, but a one day later. Many have taught this is to show that God alone is perfect. 
[[Troparion]] (Tone 4)

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