(St. Luke 1:38)
Answer: We believe that there is only one Lord God and Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, no one is equal to Him, and no one but Him can save mankind. We do not turn to Mary, the Mother of Christ our God and Savior, and we certainly do not put her on the same level as her son, but we turn to her as to one who helps us by her prayers, just as St. Paul himself said that he had become all things to all men, "that I might by all means and in any way save them" (I Corinthians 9:22). St. Paul was not claiming to usurp Christ as the Savior; he merely wanted to help and strengthen others on the path to salvation. It is in this sense that we Orthodox Christians say, "Most Holy Mother of God, save us"-that is, "Please help us toward salvation by your prayers."