St. Silouan on the Holiness of the Virgin

St. Silouan the Athonite 1886-1938

Once when I was a young novice I was praying before an icon of the Mother of God, and the Jesus Prayer entered into my heart and there began to repeat itself of its own accord. And another time in Church I was listening to a reading from the prophet Isaiah, and at the words, ‘Wash you, make you clean,’ (Isa. 1:16) I reflected, ‘Maybe the Mother of God sinned at one time or another, if only in thought.’ And, marvellous to relate, in unison with my prayer a voice sounded in my heart, saying clearly, ‘The Mother of God never sinned even in thought.’ Thus did the Holy Spirit bear witness in my heart to her purity. But during her earthly life even she was not quite perfect and complete — she did make some mistakes that did not involve sin. We can see this from the Gospel when on the return from Jerusalem she did not know where her Son was, and together with Joseph sought Him for three days. (cf. Lk. 2:44-46) (St. Silouan the Athonite, Chap. XI On the Mother of God pp. 391-392)