Orthodox Women as an Icon for International Women’s Day

It is International Women’s Day! A day to celebrate all of the achievements women have made in history and how far we have come socially, politically, etc etc etc…

Fortunately, in the Orthodox World, we have been surrounded by a history of dynamic women who nowadays would probably be seen as active feminists. So here’s why women of the Orthodox church are and always have been pretty freaking awesome

6) Many women of the ancient church were noble, well-spoken and involved in their government and politics in order to fight for the Faith.

St. Helen, firm in faith even though her husband did not get baptized until he was on his death bead, contracted, commissioned and oversaw the construction of 365 churches all over the empire, in addition to leading the group which found the true Cross.

5) Women of the ancient church were just as stubborn, driven and committed as today’s strongest women activists.

Recall St Thekla who, against her parent’s bidding, bribed the guards to see Paul, followed him everywhere, tamed lions in the arena and finally finished her life in asceticism. St Katherine who put the greatest scholars to shame, St Nataljia who refused her husband when believing he renounced the faith. Our women had fire!

4) It was by a woman that the reign of iconoclasm came to an end

Empress Theodora who’s husband was one of the iconoclasts was responsible for calling together the council to reinstate the icons and begin the tradition of the Sunday of Orthodoxy

3) It was a woman who first heard the news of the resurrection and proclaimed it to the disciples

While the disciples were hiding in the upper room for fear of the Jews, the women went to fulfill the tradition and duty of anointing the body. When Mary Magdalene heard the news she was the Apostle to the Apostles.

2) Women are the sole gender capable of sustaining a developing life, thus participating in God’s act of Creation

God created us in His image and likeness. We are called to be like God in every way possible. Love, compassion, forgiveness, perfection. God is the creator of all life. As women, through God, we are physically able to create life and participate in His creation.

1) It was by a woman that humanity regained the possibility of salvation

In case the achievements in history by the saints and the ability to participate in creation are not enough, it is never forgotten that it was through the Virgin Mary’s willingness to participate in God’s plan and conceive the Christ, that God took on human flesh, lived as a human, suffered and died on the Cross and then Resurrected, opening to us the door to paradise.