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600 - 700 AD


from a perspective of women in the Church


 

Timeline

before Christ
0-100 AD
100-200
200-300
300-400
400-500
500-600
600-700
700-800
800-900
900-1000
1000-1100
1100-1200
1200-1300
1300-1400
1400-1500
1500-1600
1600-1700
1700-1800
1800-1900
1900-1950
1950-2000
2000-2050

 

In the Byzantine part of the Church, theologians and preachers had been reflecting on Mary's relationship to Jesus the Highpriest. They realised that Mary had to be priestly herself since she gave birth to the Priest of Priests.

A legend grew up that stated that Mary had spent her youth in the Holy of Holies of the temple of Jerusalem.

“There where only the High Priest may enter, and then rarely - only once a year, it is there in this holy sanctuary of grace that Mary is offered to stay there indefinitely. Who has ever heard anything similar? Who has ever seen or heard, now or formerly, that a woman was introduced into the intimacy of the Holy of Holies, and that it was in this place, almost inaccessible even to men, that she lived and ate. Is this not a striking demonstration of the strange magnificence of which her womb would be the object? Is it not a manifest sign, a irrefutable proof?” - St Germanus 633 - 733

The Greek Fathers expressed their belief in Mary's priestly status in the many new titles which they gave her. St Andrew of Crete mentions the following:
* ‘spiritual altar of the divine victim, altar consecrated and dedicated to God’;
* 'priestly staff';
* ‘sanctuary of all sacrificial worship’;
* 'the most holy table [= altar] which has carried by itself the living bread, Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, eternal life made bread . . . . ’.



from an ancient fresco



http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/list_pal_egypt.asp#mariaWomen Deacons 600 - 700

Women continued to minister as deacons during this century.

Maria of Moab's epitaph (left) reads: "Here lies deacon[ess] Maria daughter of Valens who lived thirty-eight years and died in the year 538 [= 643 or 644 AD]."

d. 643 or 644
Deaconess (in present-day Jordan)

The theme of Mary’s priestly dignity
600 - 700

In the oratorio of San Venanzio, Rome (642 AD), Mary is portrayed as the High Priest, raising her hands as she intercedes for people and wearing a pallium.


633-733
Patriarch of Constantinople 715-30AD
660-740
Bishop of Gortyna in Crete

Local Church Synods and councils 600 - 700

Fear of menstruation and of women in general underlies many regulations about women laid down in local synods.

650
A priest should not put the holy Eucharist into the hands of any lay person or woman, but only into their mouths....
680
Bishop Timothy of Alexandria made a number of pronouncements concerning women
690
During the time of menstruation women should not enter into church or receive communion ... etc
692
Attended by 211 Greek-speaking Bishops. Made a number of decrees concerning women.

John Wijngaards