Papyri : Prayer to Mary

Papyri

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>Substantial portion of a prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary. There are no indications that it was intended for liturgical use, which suggests it may have been a private copy. The prayer became an important hymn in Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, known in Latin as the Sub tuum praesidium. Translation of lines 4-9 courtesy of C. H. Roberts: "Mother of God (hear) my supplications: suffer us not (to be) in adversity, but deliver us from danger. Thou alone...".</p><p>This fragment is believed to be not only the earliest copy (in Greek) of the prayer, but also the earliest evidence that survives of Christians addressing the Virgin Mary as "theotokos" ("bearer of God"), a title which was only officially authorized at the Council of Ephesus in 341 CE. Roberts, the first editor of the papyrus, dated it tentatively to the fourth century CE. The date was estimated palaeographically, by comparing the handwriting with other manuscripts. However, papyrologists have suggested a later date range, from the fifth to the eighth century CE.</p><p></p></p>


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