marian calendar     august

August 7

Saint Mary's Fast, Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt and Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Churches

The ancient churches of northeast Africa commemorate the Dormition of St. Mary (her death, "falling asleep") on 21 Tobi (January 29) and -- since the 500s -- her Assumption into heaven several months later. The Coptic Synaxarion relates the tradition that St. Thomas missed Mary's burial but later saw angels carrying her body to heaven. He told the other apostles, who discovered that her tomb was empty. "The Lord had promised his pure apostles that they would see her in flesh another time. They were waiting for the fulfillment of this truthful promise, until the 16th day of the month of Mesori, when the promise of seeing her was fulfilled. They saw her sitting on the right hand of her Son and her Lord, surrounded by the angelic Host." The Coptic feast of the Virgin on 16 Mesori (August 22), commemorating this apparition to the apostles, is preceded by a period of abstinence from meat starting on 1 Mesori (August 7) in imitation of the apostles' having fasted and prayed that they might see the risen Mother of God. In practice, churches in the north African Orthodox tradition often celebrate 16 Mesori as the feast of St. Mary's Assumption (although some sources list that feast separately on 21 Paoni, June 28, and some list August 22 as the Dormition, as in other Orthodox traditions). (Information from "Virgin Mary," Canadian Coptic Centre,; and other sources.)   

Church mural, possibly illustrating the vision of St. Mary and Christ with angels in heaven, from "Ethiopia, its Art and Icons," Betsy Porter Art and Iconography,

Also commemorated this date:

Virgin Mary, Durunka, Asyut, Egypt. Start of annual pilgrimage commemorating Holy Family's visit and Our Lady's fast.
Maria Vesperbild, Ziemetshausen, Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany. Church dedicated, 1756. Pilgrimage Aug. 15; feast Sept. 15.
Madonna degli Angeli, Guardavalle, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy, Marina district. Processions on land and sea.
Madonna del Ponte, Partinico, Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Festa commemorating crowning of painting in 1861. Also Sunday after Easter.
Onze Lieve Vrouw van Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands. Renaissance Black Madonna statue crowned, 1932. 
Valaam Mother of God, Valaam, Karelia, Russia (July 25 old calendar)
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Úbeda, Jaén, Andalucía, Spain. Statue found, 1381.
Nuestra Señora del Saliente, Albox, Almería, Andalucía, Spain. Statue crowned, 1988. Fiesta Sept. 8.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly