“If a tree is known by its fruit, and a good tree brings forth good fruit (cf. Matt. 7:17, Luke 6:43-44), how could she who is the Mother of Goodness itself, who gave birth to that Beauty which has no beginning, not be incomparably more excellent and beautiful than anything good on earth and in heaven?
The power who made all things fair, the co-sempiternal, express Image of Goodness, the pre-eternal, supraessential and supremely good Word of the Father most high, wished in His ineffable love and compassion for mankind to put on our image, in order to recall our human nature, which had been dragged down into the inmost recesses of Hades, to renew it after it had grown old, and to raise it up beyond the heavenly heights to His kingdom and divinity. He united His person with our humanity, and, since it was necessary for Him to assume flesh that was both new and our own, in order to renew us by means of what was ours, He also had to be carried in the womb and brought forth as we are, then nurtured after birth and brought up as was appropriate. Becoming like us in all respects for our sake, He found the Ever-Virgin, whom we extol and whose mysterious Entry into the Holy of Holies we celebrate today, to be a most suitable handmaid in every way, able to bestow on Him an undefiled nature from her own. God determined before all ages that she should be for the salvation and restoration of our race, and chose her from all mankind down through the ages, not simply among ordinary folk, but from all the elect of every age, who were admired and renowned for their piety and understanding, and who were both beneficial to all and well-pleasing to God in their ways, words and deeds.” (St. Gregory Palamas, The Homilies, pp 407-408)