January 25

marian calendar     january

All-Holy Milk Giver, Hilandar Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece

In 532, on his deathbed at the monastery he founded in Jerusalem, St. Sabbas the Sanctified bequeathed his episcopal staff and his icon of the nursing Virgin to a future Sabbas, at whose visit to his tomb the staff would drop from its ties. In 1229, St. Sabbas (Sava) of Serbia made the pilgrimage there, fullfilled the prophecy, and brought the holy icon and staff back to the Serbian monastery of Hilandar on the holy mountain Athos in Greece. In a departure from Orthodox custom, he placed the icon on the left of the Royal Doors to the inner sanctum of the shrine he had built there, the position usually reserved for the icon of Christ. The icon  remains where St. Sava put it. But devotion to the Hilandar Galaktotrophousa, the Milk Giver, She Who Gives Suck, spread throughout the Orthodox world, and particularly to Serbia. Stern and swarthy, she seems to embody the principle that hardship brings spiritual nourishment. The Serbian Orthodox Church commemorates the Most Holy Virgin Mother Galaktotrophousa on July 3. On January 25 (January 12 in the old calendar) it says an Akathist in her honor, a very long, 13-part prayer of praise and exultation: "Angelic choirs looked into the cave, and there they saw a maiden pure as milk feeding her Son, and the blessed ones exclaimed: Rejoice, thou didst bear the Creator of the world!" (Image and information from the Mt. Athos web site, www.mountathos.gr.)   

Also celebrated this date:

Inmaculada Concepcion, Uluazapa, San Miguel, El Salvador (January 13-26)
Akathistos Mother of God, Hilandar Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece
Priestly (Popskaya) Mother of God, Hilandar Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece
Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Encarnación de Díaz, Jalisco, Mexico (Our Lady of the Incarnation). Statue crowned, 1922. Celebrated Feb. 2.
Nuestra Señora de Belén, Belorado, Burgos, Castilla y León, Spain (Our Lady of Bethlehem)
Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, Nirgua, Yaracuy, Venezuela

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly