October 1

marian calendar     october

Panagia Koukouzelissa, Great Lavra, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece 

Born in Bulgaria and educated in Constantinople, St. John Koukouzelis (d. 1360) left his post as a singer at the court of the Byzantine emperor to become a monk on Mt. Athos in northern Greece. For some time he tended the goats and sang only to the animals in the hills, who would gather around to hear him. When his talent was discovered, he was given head place in the choir. The story goes that once, after a lengthy session of singing during the vigil of the Akathistos Hymn -- a ceremony of praises to the Mother of God held before her icon on the fifth Saturday of Lent -- St. John nodded off in his choir stall. The Virgin appeared to him and, saying, "Sing for me and I will not abandon you," placed a gold coin in his hand. He woke up to find he was holding the coin. John Koukouzelis became one of the great hymnographers, or writers of sacred music, in the Orthodox church -- a major contributor to the liturgy. The monastery icon before which he chanted and dreamed is now called the Koukouzelissa, after the beloved singer, and honored on his feast day, October 1. (Information from the Mt. Athos website, www.mountathos.gr, and other sources; picture from orthodoxwiki.org.)   

Also commemorated this date:

Notre-Dame de Belle Dilection, Mons, Hainaut, Wallonia, Belgium. Healing, 1649.
Panny Marie Svatokopecké, Svatý Kopecek, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Church dedicated, 1679; feasts May 31 and Sunday after August 15.
Graha Bunda Maria Annai Velangkanni, Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Shrine opened, 2005.
Madonna di Valverde, Rezzato, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Apparition, 1711; also appeared 1399; festa last Sunday in July.

Santa Maria in Equis, Santa Sofia, Forlě-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Spinello district. Rebuilt church consecrated, 1921.
Maria Santissima della Consolazione, San Valentino Torio, Salerno, Campania, Italy. 1700s statue crowned, 1906. Festa early Sept.
Queen and Protectress of Nigeria, Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
Matka Nieustajacej Pomocy, Torun, Kuyavia-Pomerania, Poland (Mother of Perpetual Help). Copy of icon in Rome crowned, 1967.
Mother of God the Healer, Moscow, Russia (Sept. 18 Julian)
Santa María, Palma, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Cathedral consecrated, 1346 (celebrated annually). Titular feast August 15.
Molchensk Mother of God, Putyvl, Sumy, Ukraine. Icon appeared in wetland Sept. 18, 1405 (Oct. 1 Gregorian).
Our Lady of Lourdes, Carfin, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. Grotto dedicated, 1922.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Garfield Heights, Ohio, USA. Shrine blessed, 1939. Pilgrimage Aug. 15.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly