October 14

marian calendar     october

Virgin of Protection, Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches

Begun in 450 by Empress Aelia Pulcheria, the church complex of St. Mary in the Blachernae district of Constantinople was one of the most sacred sites in Byzantium, housing a fountain of holy water, a miraculous icon of the Virgin, and her robe, sash, and veil. As the Greek word for veil or mantle also means "protection," the relics of Blachernae became associated with God's protective power manifested through his mother. The feast of Our Lady of Protection (Russian Pokrov) is celebrated throughout the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, on October 1 (old style), 14 (modern calendar) or 28 (liberation of Greece). Today's date commemorates an apparition to St. Andrew the Fool (d. 936), his disciple Epiphanius, and other people praying in the church during an all-night vigil. Those who witnessed the Virgin enter the church, kneel in tearful prayer, then ascend, holding her veil over the congregation, took it as a sign of her care for them. Some sources place the October apparition in 911, others during the Russian naval siege of the 860s. (Picture of Dionisy's 1502 fresco in the Virgin Nativity Cathedral, St. Ferapont Belozero Monastery, Ferapontovo, Kirillov, Vologda, Russia from The Museum of Dionisy's Frescoes, www.dionisy.com.)

Other sources include:

"The Miracle of the Virgin Mary at the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople," The M+G+R Foundation, www.mgr.org/TheVeil.html
"The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary," Orthodox Church in America, oca.org/saints/lives/2014/10/01/102824
Catherine Aslanoff, Paul Meyendorff, and Andrew Tregubov, The Incarnate God: The Feasts of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Yonkers, New York, 1994

Also commemorated this date:

Krupetskaya Mother of God, Krupki, Senno, Mogilev, Belarus (Oct. 1 old style)
St. Marienthal, Ostritz, Saxony, Germany (St. Mary in the Valley). Cistercian monastery for women founded, 1234; still active.
Sumur Maria Kitiran Mas, Pakem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Mary's Well). Dedicated 1985; rededicated Oct. 14, 2001.
Nostra Signora del Santo Rosario di Fatima, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, in Misericordia Church. Statue crowned, 1951.
Protection of the Holy Mother of God, Boljetin, Zvecan, Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo, Sokolika Monastery
Gerbovetskaya Mother of God, Harbovat, Moldova
Virgen de la Soledad en Talaván, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain (Virgin of Sorrow). Romería.
Virgen del Niño Perdido, Alquerías del Niño Perdido, Castellón, Valencia, Spain (Virgin of the Lost Child). Statue burned 1936; 1939 replacement crowned Oct. 14, 1984. Patronal fiesta 1st Sun. Oct.
Verge de la Font de la Salut, Traiguera, Castelló, Valencia, Spain (Virgin of the Fountain of Health). Statue found, 1384.
Virgen del Martirio, Ugíjar, Granada, Andalucía, Spain (Virgin of Martyrdom)
Bar Icon of the Mother of God, Bar, Barskyi, Vinnytsia, Ukraine (Oct. 1 old style)

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly