Russian Christians for centuries have called Mary the Protectress of the Oppressed. In the language of poetry she is called the gate of salvation and the ladder by which God came to earth. Jesus Christ, the God/Man, is flesh of her flesh. Traditionally she has also been seen as the mother of all Christ’s brothers and sisters, throughout the centuries and across the entire earth.
Mary is the archetype of the Church. In her person she embodies the qualities of Christ’s Church itself. Despite European prejudice, however, Christ’s Mystical Body is not white. All peoples and races belong to Christ. Moreover, Christ has assured us that He will always be found among the poor and oppressed. Where Christ is, there is His Church, according to an ancient Patristic adage. Perhaps the best depiction of Mary for our time of profound cultural change is a woman of color, a woman of the Third World.
O my most blessed Queen, O Theotokos my hope, guardian of orphans and intercessor for strangers, Joy of the sorrowful, Protectress of the Oppressed; Thou beholdest my misfortune, Thou seest my sorrow. Help me, for I am infirm; feed me, for I am a stranger. Thou knowest mine offense: do Thou loose it, as Thou dost will, for I have none other help but Thee, nor any other intercessor save Thee, O Mother of God. Do Thou preserve and protect me unto the ages of ages. Amen.