The Intercession of the Theotokos, or the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, is a feast of the Mother of God celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. The feast celebrates the protection afforded the faithful through the intercessions of the Theotokos (lit. Mother of God, the Eastern title of the Virgin Mary). In the Slavic Orthodox Churches it is celebrated as the most important solemnity besides the Twelve Great Feasts and Pascha. The feast is commemorated in Eastern Orthodoxy as a whole, but by no means as fervently as it is in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. It is not a part of the ritual traditions of, and therefore is not celebrated by, the Oriental Orthodox Churches or some jurisdictions that allow Western Rite Orthodoxy. Yet the feast is perfectly consistent with the theology of these sister churches. It is celebrated on October 14 (OS October 1).The Western Rite Communities of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) do celebrate this feast on their calendar (www.rocor-wr.org).
The Protection of the Theotokos or the Intercession of the Theotokos (Church Slavonic : Покровъ, Pokrov, Ukrainian : Покрова, Pokrova), like the (Greek : Σκεπή, Skepḗ) has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos. It is often translated as Feast of the Intercession or Feast of the Holy Protection.
With some reservations, the Pokrov icon may be related to the Western Virgin of Mercy image, in which the Virgin spreads wide her cloak to cover and protect a group of kneeling supplicants (first known from Italy from about 1280).
According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) where several of her relics (her robe, veil, and part of her belt) were kept. On Sunday, October 1 at four in the morning, St. Andrew the Blessed Fool-for-Christ, who was a Slav by birth, saw the dome of the church open and the Virgin Mary enter, moving in the air above him, glowing and surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world. The Virgin Mary asked Her Son, Jesus Christ, to accept the prayers of all the people entreating Him and looking for Her protection. Once Her prayer was completed, She walked to the altar and continued to pray. Afterwards, She spread Her veil over all the people in the church as a protection.
St. Andrew turned to his disciple, St. Epiphanius, who was standing near him, and asked, "Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?" Epiphanius answered, "Yes, Holy Father, I see it and am amazed!"
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According to the Primary Chronicle of St. Nestor the Chronicler, the inhabitants of Constantinople called upon the intercession of the Mother of God to protect them from an attack by a large Rus' army (Rus' was still pagan at the time). According to Nestor, the feast celebrates the destruction of this fleet sometime in the ninth century.
The icon of the feast, which is not found in Byzantine art, depicts in its upper part the Virgin Mary surrounded by a luminous aureole. She holds in her outstreched arms an orarion or veil, which symbolizes the protection of her intercession.To either side of her stand numerous saints and angels, many of whom are recognizable to the experienced church-goer: the apostles, John the Baptist, St. Nicholas of Myra, etc. Below, St. Andrew the Fool for Christ is depicted, pointing up at the Virgin Mary and turning to his disciple Epiphanius. Usually, the veil with which the Virgin protects mankind is small and held either in her outstretched hands or by two angels, though a version similar to the Western European Virgin of Mercy image, with a larger cloak covering people is found in some Eastern Orthodox icons.
The Feast of the Intercession commemorates the miracle as a joyous revelation of the Theotokos' protection, which is spread over the world, and the Mother of God’s great love for mankind.It is a religious holy day or feast day of the Byzantine Rite Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is not found in Oriental Orthodoxy nor some jurisdictions of Western Rite Orthodoxy though it is perfectly consistent with the theology and beliefs of these sister churches. It is held annually on October 14, which corresponds to October 1 on the "Old Style calendar" i.e. the Julian calendar still used in some Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is served as an All-Night Vigil, with many of the same elements as occur on Great Feasts of the Theotokos. However, Pokrov has no Afterfeast. The Western Rite Communities of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) do celebrate this feast on their calendar. (www.rocor-wr.org)
Some, but not all, regions of the Russian Federation celebrate the Feast of Intercession as a work holiday. In Ukraine, it is celebrated on October 14 as a religious, national, and family holiday. : День Українського козацтва ).The Mother of God as the Intercessor and Patron became firmly established among Ukrainians: princes, kings, cossacks, and hetmans chose the Mother of God as their patroness and protectress. An icon in the National Art Museum of Ukraine shows the Virgin Mary protecting the Ukrainian cossack hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. By decree of the Ukrainian President, October 14 — Pokrova Feast Day was promulgated also as Ukrainian Cossack Day (Ukrainian
October 1 (in the Julian calendar) is also the feast of St. Romanus the Melodist, so he is often depicted on the same icon, even though he and St. Andrew lived at different times. He is often shown directly below the Virgin Mary, standing on a bema, or on a kathedra, chanting from a scroll.The scroll represents the various kontakia which have been attributed to him.
The feast day of St. Andrew, the Fool-for-Christ, falls on the following day, October 2 (in accordance with the Orthodox liturgical tradition of the Synaxis).
Many Orthodox churches worldwide are named after this feast. The first churches dedicated to feast of Pokrov appeared in Russia in the 12th century. Probably the most famous Russian church named for the feast day is Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, which is officially entitled "the Church of Intercession of Our Lady that Is on the Moat" (Russian : Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву) or shortly "Intercession Cathedral upon moat" (Russian : Храм Покрова "на рву"). The other one is the Church of Intercession in Bogolyubovo near Vladimir on the Nerl River (Russian : Церковь Покрова на Нерли, Tserkov Pokrova na Nerli). Both churches are on the United Nations' World Heritage List, the latter as part of the site White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. There is also a Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in St. Petersburg.
Other notable churches commemorating this feast are Intercession of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church in Manchester, England,and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin & St. Sergius in Glen Cove, New York.
Saint Mary the Protectress in Irondequoit, New York is a notable Ukrainian Orthodox Church dedicated to the feast of Pokrova. A great many Ukrainian churches are also named in honour of this feast in Canada.
In north Wales there is the Church of the Holy Protection (Eglwys yr Amddiffyniad Sanctaidd) at 10 Manod Road, Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the liturgy is celebrated partly in Welsh, also English, Greek, and Church Slavonic. The church, under Archimandrite Deiniol, is under the omophor the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the diocese of Western Europe under the Ecumenical Patriarch. Previously it belonged to the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and previous to that to the Diocese of Sourozh of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Dormition of the Mother of God is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos, and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest 15 August. In Western Churches the feast is known as the Assumption of Mary.
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic, Orthodox Churches, and some Anglo-Catholic Churches.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief in the sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, celebrated on September 8. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church celebrated worldwide.
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Marian devotions are external pious practices directed to the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, by members of certain Christian traditions. They are performed in Catholicism, High Church Lutheranism, Anglo-Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, but generally rejected in other Christian denominations.
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom Christians see as the Lord, Son of God. It is celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation in areas that have not abrogated it.
Pokrov may refer to:
A Paraklesis or Supplicatory Canon in the Byzantine Rite, is a service of supplication for the welfare of the living. It is addressed to a specific Saint or to the Most Holy Theotokos whose intercessions are sought through the chanting of the supplicatory canon together with psalms, hymns, and litanies.
The Panagia Portaitissa also known as the Iviron Theotokos or Iverskaya in Russian, is an Eastern Orthodox icon of the Virgin Mary in the Georgian Iviron monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, where it is believed to have been since the year 999. According to the sacred tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church it was painted by Luke the Evangelist. The icon is referred to as "Wonderworking" meaning that numerous miracles have been attributed to the intercession of the Theotokos by persons praying before it. The synaxis for this icon is on February 12, as well as on Bright Tuesday, and also on October 13 for the translation to Moscow of the Iveron icon.
The Mother of God of the Life-giving Spring or Life-giving Font is an epithet of the Holy Theotokos that originated with her revelation of a sacred spring in Valoukli, Constantinople, to a soldier named Leo Marcellus, who later became Byzantine Emperor Leo I (457-474). Leo built the historic Church of St. Mary of the Spring over this site, which witnessed numerous miraculous healings over the centuries, through her intercessions, becoming one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Greek Orthodoxy. Thus the term "Life-giving Font" became an epithet of the Holy Theotokos and she was represented as such in iconography.
The Virgin of Mercy is a subject in Christian art, showing a group of people sheltering for protection under the outspread cloak, or pallium, of the Virgin Mary. It was especially popular in Italy from the 13th to 16th centuries, often as a specialised form of votive portrait, and is also found in other countries and later art, especially Catalonia and Latin America.
The "Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary", also known as "St. Mary", is a Macedonian Orthodox Church located in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. It is one of the oldest Macedonian Orthodox communities in the United States and in the American-Canadian Diocese.
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